UPDATE: The application process for Lowcountry Local First’s grants is closed, according to spokesperson Jordan Amaker. With over 200 applications just a few days after announcing the grant, requests will be reviewed quickly for funding to be distributed. “We’re still in active fundraising mode with hopes to grow the fund and host a second round in the near future,” Amaker said.
Lowcountry Local First (LLF) is launching a program to provide monetary support to small locally based businesses who have been negatively impacted by the pandemic, but did not qualify for federal funding earlier in the year. The Small Business Relief Grants program will provide $1,000-2,000 grants for independent businesses headquartered in the Lowcountry.
“This fund will provide meaningful and swift assistance to those who need it to keep their lights on and food on the table,” said Barbie Schreiner, LLF director of development. “We expect an overwhelming number of applicants, so we look to others in our community who are able to step up and help us grow this fund.”
The Small Business Relief Grant will focus on businesses ineligible for federal funding, businesses with up to three employees and less than $250,000 in annual revenue.
Across the region, small businesses have been struck by the economic impacts of COVID-19, leading some to furlough employees or file for the Paycheck Protection Program just to stay afloat.
Home Telecom, an independent telecommunications provider, initiated the grant with a $50,000 donation. LLF hopes to grow the fund to $100,000 with the help of other corporations, spokesperson Jordan Amaker said in a press release.
“We felt the need to do something to specifically support small, local businesses in the Tri-County region experiencing financial hardships due to COVID-19,” Home Telecom CEO William Helmley said in a public statement. “I challenge other Tri-County business leaders to join in on the effort.”
Contributions to the fund and applications for grant money can be submitted directly at lowcountrylocalfirst.org.