DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Downtown Dayton Partnership, Dayton Chamber of Commerce and the Caresource Foundation collaborated with other community members and businesses to raise $719,000.

About 119 businesses were given grants between $1,000 and $10,000 to help defray costs and losses from the coronavirus shut down.

“It really speaks to the collaboration that we have as a community. Collaboration is within the DNA of Dayton,” said Dan McCabe, CEO of the Caresource Foundation. “So to see this come together so quickly and people doing the right thing, all focused on supporting our businesses, it just speaks volumes to who they are as a community.”

Carmen’s Deli is one of the businesses being granted the funds to help with recovery.

Wednesday, community leaders with the grant program came to present the check to owner Haitham Imam. When the pandemic first hit, Imam had promised his employees the restaurant would not close but would continue to support customers as best they could.

“It’s been very tough and a very hard ride for us. We went down 70 percent so that’s really hard to make that up,” shared Imam.

“When [businesses] had to close down for 2 to 3 months it really impacted them. They had to pay the rent still. They have insurances,” explained McCabe.

As Imam received the check, he became emotional. He says he’s thankful to know that he can now continue to do what he does best, serving those in his community.

“When you believe in something from the heart and you have the passion, nothing can stop you.”

For more information on the REOPEN Downtown Dayton grant program, click here.