StartUP Columbus and the Fountain City team up to award $112K to local small businesses

StartUP Columbus and the Fountain City team up to award $112K to local small businesses

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Small businesses across the Fountain City continue to feel the sting of COVID-19, financially. One group is partnering with Columbus, in hopes of helping a few small businesses get back on their feet.

The application for the COVID-19 Small Business Economic Recovery Grant Program is open until the end of the month. It’s aimed at helping small businesses in our backyard bounce back from the impact of the pandemic.

According to Ben MacMinn, Executive Director for StartUP Columbus, the goal is to give 28 eligible businesses $4,000 as a part of the COVID-19 Small Businesses Economic Recovery Fund Grant Program.

“StartUP Columbus is working with the Community Reinvestment Department to help administer funds that is a part of the community development block grant,” said MacMinn. “We realize that $4,000 isn’t going to do everything to help keep you afloat, but we know there could be some small things the businesses need. I was talking to a barbershop that had to get an additional SBA loan and this type of grant would help them pay off some that they got last year due to the pandemic.”

Eligible applicants should have between 1 to 25 employees, an active Muscogee County business license, and have good standing with the city of Columbus.

According to Hazel Thomas, owner of Hazel’s Flowers and Gifts off of Macon Road, her business didn’t exactly suffer much when the pandemic started, however an extra $4,000 would help pay some of her employees or even hire one.

“Well first of all it could help us hire an additional person, and it would help me to do some advertising, because people still need to know I’m here,” said Thomas.

Over in Uptown Columbus, Ivy Lovett, owner of the Parlor Barbershop, tells News Leader 9 that $4,000 sounds like a nice cushion for her business savings account, and might have come in handy at the start of the pandemic. Especially after last year when she had to close down for a little over a month.

“We could pay utilities, or rent, and any other supplies that we need,” said Lovett. “It affected us because we were a new business at the time, so we didn’t have a savings so we didn’t have a cushion, and we still had to pay our bills so it really affected us not having that income come in everyday.”

For more information on the eligibility requirements, or to apply, click here.

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