City of Vandalia offering grants as small businesses continue to feel affect of COVID-19

Miami Valley News

VANDALIA, Ohio (WDTN) – The City of Vandalia is offering up grants for small businesses affected by the pandemic, and small businesses say this money will be a big help.

The City of Vandalia has $200,000 they hope to give to small businesses like bars and restaurants, retailers, child care and hair salons.

“I’m just thankful that we’re open, and for the customers that continue to support us, and you know, just grateful we’ve made it through the pandemic, or continuing through the current pandemic,” Cut Loose Hair Salon owner Cindy Cornelius said.

Cornelius said between the shutdown, operating at 50 percent capacity, and now the delta variant business still hasn’t fully recovered for many small businesses.

“At first we were swamped getting started, and then the holidays, and now I think we’re kind of losing business again because people are afraid of the new delta variant,” Cornelius said.

The City of Vandalia is hoping to help some of these small businesses with their grant program.

“We’re really excited to be offering this grant program, and we’re really excited to get tthose applications in,” Vandalia Assistant City Manager Amber Holloway said.

Vandalia city council approved using the $200,000 in American Rescue Plan funding to give grants ranging $5,000 to $10,000 to brick and mortar small businesses that meet the program’s requirements.

The size of the grant depends on the number of full-time employees the business has, up to 25 employees maximum.

Holloway said the goal is to create economic growth with a goal to support brick and mortar businesses that have weathered through the pandemic.

“They’re still here, making it through today, and the idea’s that these businesses are poised to make a strong recovery and if we can give them that little extra boost to help them do that, we’re very happy to,” Holloway said.

Cornelius said she plans to look into applying for the program.

“It’s great because there’s a lot of small businesses that have definitely suffered and are having a hard time,” Cornelius said.

The application for small businesses is due by December 1.

The Vandalia Butler Chamber of Commerce is also assisting through the process, but businesses do not have to be a member.

For more information about the grant program, click here.

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