Tybee Main Street Program lends a hand to local businesses

Tybee Main Street Program lends a hand to local businesses
Tybee Island's Main Street Program is trying to help their small businesses through a new grant program. (Source: WTOC)

TYBEE ISLAND, Ga. (WTOC) - Small businesses are trying to bounce back after feeling impacts from COVID-19.

Tybee Island’s Main Street Program is trying to help their small businesses through a new grant program. The application process opened a few weeks ago and WTOC checked in to see if businesses were taking advantage of it.

The new Sand Dollars program is an incentive program available to local businesses. Participating businesses will receive a supply of $5 gift certificates that they can offer to customers who spend at least $25. The customers can spend the $5 on a future sale at the business and Main Street will cover the cost of the discount on behalf of the participating business, according to the City of Tybee Island.

The city says they’ve heard from several small business owners who are grateful for the additional assistance because every little bit helps them keep their doors open.

Tybee Island is a unique community because it has over 200 small businesses. In fact, the only business name that a visitor would recognize is the Arby's on South Beach.

Those with Tybee’s Main Street says the pandemic caused most of the island’s businesses to take a major hit, so they want to help them recover.

Main Street is also offering a $500 Business Recovery Grant that businesses can use for rent, utilities, or as a reimbursement for having to change their operations to stay open during the pandemic, like if a restaurant had to install a takeout window.

“We’ve had a great response from the community. This is money that we had budgeted, so we are happy to help them. It’s important that businesses receive our assistance right now because they are what will keep this community going,” said Sarah Bernzott, Main Street Board Member.

A total of 22 applications are currently being reviewed for the grants. Small businesses can learn more and apply online by clicking here.

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