Tybee businesses helped by local grant

Tybee businesses helped by local grant

TYBEE ISLAND, Ga. (WTOC) - Businesses on Tybee Island are starting to receive the money they applied for from the city’s business recovery grant program.

Up to 40 businesses can apply for the grant program. So far, 20 businesses applied and were given $500 each.

The grant program was an idea brought up by the Tybee Island Development Authority/Main Street Program. They have $25,000 to divide up for businesses in need.

"We were very happy to be selected to get that grant. $500, it means a lot to us,” Kelly & Company Marketing Coordinator Chloe Swope said.

Kelly & Company is one of the first 20 businesses who the Main Street program says got their grant. The Development Authority Executive Director, Michelle Owens, says about 90 percent of those businesses will use their grant to pay rent and 10 percent will use it to pay for utilities.

"We were closed for at least eight weeks, so we had minimal income coming in with online sales. So, to have that help with our rent was very appreciated,” Swope said.

"I had just purchased the building in February, so I was a little uncertain of the business as a whole,” Inferno Hot Sauce Emporium owner Brian Hogan said.

Hogan says his $500 went to rent as well. He says having this extra money for rent allowed him to buy some other necessities for the store.

"It freed up a little cash to be able to buy more product to keep the store full because that was the hardest thing having to pay up front for everything,” Hogan said.

Main Street says they've had more businesses apply and their applications are under review. Business owners say they encourage others to take advantage of this financial help.

"Definitely go for it. The application is short and sweet. I think it took us maybe ten minutes to do,” Swope said.

"I would do it. It's super simple and they're willing to work with you and help out,” Hogan said.

Nearly 30 businesses have either gotten the grant or are waiting to be accepted, so Main Street is getting close to their 40 business cap. If you have a business and you’re interested, you have until June 30 to apply for the grant.

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