Greenville awards small business grants amid COVID-19

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GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA)–The City of Greenville awarded four businesses checks for a thousand dollars each on Wednesday.

The money helps out small business owners like Jeremy Ethridge.

“They are doing a boost grant for certain businesses within city limits,” Ethridge, who owns Stone Pizza Company, said. “When this thing hit, it hit quick and we all had to make changes in the business and in our own personal lives to make sure we could make it through this.”

He plans to use the money from the city to help his employees.

“These days it’s definitely a lot of money especially when it comes to continuing to fund payroll,” Ethridge said.

City Councilwoman Dorothy Dowe says that’s one of the great things about these grants.

“We recognize that the small businesses know better than anyone else exactly where that money is needed,” Dowe said.

She came up with the idea and says these small grants will not have to be paid back, plus businesses can use them for whatever they need.

“Our small business industry is so critical to the City of Greenville. They are vital to our growth, to our quality of life,” Dowe said.

The money comes from the Unity Park project, which Dowe says is largely funded by the hospitality industry.

“I wanted to see if we could do something that rewarded the hospitality industry during this time of COVID, using the generosity of donors from the Unity Park project,” Dowe said.

Future donors to the project will be asked if they want to contribute to a grant fund to keep supporting small businesses in their time of need.

“Their recovery is a component to the whole city coming out of this,” Dowe said.

The city has already approved 91 grants and plans to award about 160 more.

If you are a small business and would like to apply for a grant click here.

If you want to know more about the funding resources head here.

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