Article by: Chris Giesen
CEDA supported Jackson County by administering the Jackson County Business Relief Grant Program. Jackson County received $250,000 of funding to implement a business relief grant program through state legislation in response to Executive Order 20-99 and the pandemic. Businesses that met the following criteria were eligible to receive grant funds:
- Were required to temporarily close or reduce services in November of 2020 under Executive Order 20-99
- Are located in Jackson County
- Have no current tax liens on record with the Secretary of State
The grant was open between January 5th and January 15. Applicants approved for funding were awarded grant funds in February. CEDA team members Chris Giesen, Ron Zeigler, Thomas Nelson, Dan Handberg, and Maddy Schwartz administered and promoted the program.
Because of the challenges connecting with owners of closed businesses over the phone and email, CEDA also engaged local business owners by visiting their storefronts and meeting with them in person. Handberg and Nelson worked directly with business owners in Jackson County to make them aware of the program and encourage them to apply. This program would not have reached as many applicants without this support.
The program approved 20 applications for funding. Grant awards to these businesses ranged from $2,209 to $13,963. This program positively impacted businesses as applicants were in industries directly impacted by the November shutdown.
Many local recipients shared their appreciation for these funds with Jackson County and CEDA staff describing how these funds will make a big difference as they continue to work toward recovery. “The pandemic has made it challenging to pay our bills and employees, and we don’t want to close permanently. We are so grateful for these funds because they will allow us to continue to operate in Jackson County and let us make the community a nice place to live. ” remarked one of the business owners