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Local Business Recovery Fund reaches $250,000 in donations

From staff reports • Jun 20, 2020 at 3:45 PM

The Local Business Recovery Fund reached an important milestone on Friday by announcing $250,000 in donations.

“We are very thankful to the companies and individuals who saw the need and responded by donating to this important effort,” said Andy Dietrich, the organizer of the Local Business Recovery Fund Drive. “As we approach the second round of grant awards to small businesses in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia, these donations will make a difference in saving jobs and helping struggling businesses recover from the COVID pandemic.”

In the first round of grant awards, the fund shared $98,650 in grants to 22 businesses. First-round grants were awarded to businesses from Big Rock and Bluefield, Virginia, to Greeneville and Erwin, Tennessee, as well as the cities of Johnson City, Bristol, and Kingsport. Within the next few weeks, more than $150,000 will be dispersed to businesses that have applied for a grant through RegionAHEAD.com.

Local businesses and sole proprietorships that are locally operated are eligible to apply for a grant in Carter, Greene, Hawkins, Johnson, Sullivan, Unicoi, and Washington counties in Tennessee, and Buchanan, Dickenson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Smyth, Tazewell, Washington, and Wise counties, along with the independent cities of Bristol and Norton, in Virginia, through June 30. Grants are intended for businesses involved in arts, entertainment or recreation, accommodation and food services, retail trade, or the manufacturing sectors.

“Our allocations committee will soon evaluate and complete the final two rounds of grant applications,” said Beth Rhinehart, president and CEO of the Bristol Chamber of Commerce. “We thank our many donors and officials across the region who have donated their time and talents in organizing and activating this important cause.”

Recipients for the second round will be notified in the next two weeks on the outcome of their grant application. The remaining funds will be shared soon after June 30. There is still time to donate to the fund online by going to RegionAHEAD.com or by sending a check to: Local Business Recovery Fund, 603 E. Main St., Johnson City, TN, 37601.

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