LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – The southern Indiana community has come together to help save struggling small businesses during the pandemic.
One Southern Indiana has partnered with local governments and groups such as the Caesars Foundation of Floyd County, the BlueSky Foundation, and the Community Foundation of Southern Indiana to create a loan fund to help businesses in need. Private and anonymous donors have also contributed to the constitution of the fund.
The effort raised over $ 1.1 million and loaned money to more than 120 small businesses in Floyd and Clark counties.
“The first thing we knew they would need was cash flow, especially if they were forced to go out of business,” said Wendy Dant Chesser, president and CEO of 1si.
Small businesses such as Donum Dei Brewery in New Albany have been hit hard by the pandemic as closures have virtually wiped out revenue.
“It’s a challenge over which I have no control,” said owner Richard Otey.
Under the loan program, businesses ranging from restaurants to clothing stores have obtained repayable or interest-free loans, depending on their needs.
Otey said the loan was a lifeline that helped ease the burden of the pandemic.
“It was a huge relief,” he said.
Money has helped him keep his doors open – and the beer is flowing.
“It gave us the confidence to know that, hey, we can stay open, we can do it, we can keep people employed,” Otey said.
The community has come together to support small businesses now, so they can stay strong in the future.
“We didn’t specifically ask if this was the savior of a lot of these companies, but I have to imagine that if it didn’t save them it certainly made their journey a little easier,” Dant Chesser said. .
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