County Executive Joe Parisi announced Sunday that Dane County will increase funding for its Small Business Pandemic Support Grant Program to $10.8 million following overwhelming community interest. The grant program was announced Wednesday, April 1 and started out at $250,000, before later being increased to $800,000. By adding $10 million to this program, Dane County and Dane Buy Local hope to help many more local businesses survive the COIVD-19 public health crisis.

“Small businesses throughout our community have taken a significant hit during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has forced many to temporarily close their doors and question how they will stay afloat,” said Dane County Executive Joe Parisi. “Community interest in our grant program has been overwhelming since it first launched last month. We are happy to make this new investment in our partnership with Dane Buy Local to give even more area businesses the funding they need to make ends meet during this unprecedented time.”

A total of $10.8 million will be available through this grant program to support small businesses throughout Dane County with employee retention and to mitigate losses from the COVID-19 pandemic. Dane Buy Local will administer the grants and has information about the County’s grant program on their website www.danebuylocal.com. There, business owners will be able to fill out a Google form to learn more about the program and apply.

“As local business owners are feeling more and more pressure as the struggle to stay in business grows, a grant can provide the glimmer of hope they need to remain positive about being able to reopen their doors when it’s safe,” said Colin Murray, Executive Director of Dane Buy Local. “County Executive Joe Parisi’s leadership and effort to support local businesses through generous Dane County grants has not only captured the attention of those in Dane County, but garnered attention throughout the state and nationwide. Dane Buy Local is privileged to have been selected to partner with Joe and Dane County in their grant distribution efforts.”

Dane Buy Local has awarded agreements to 297 local business totaling over $890,000 thus far. These businesses are located throughout the Dane County community. Grants as small as $1,000 are being awarded. Dane Buy Local is accepting applications through June 15, 2020.

A resolution to increase the Small Business Support Grant Program’s funding will be considered by the Dane County Personnel and Finance Committee tomorrow evening. The County Board is expected to adopt the resolution at next Thursday’s meeting.

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