CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) Many of West Virginia’s small businesses have been on the ropes since March because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now a new program announced Monday aims to drive the success of small businesses in the Capitol City.
“I have three small businesses here, one of them is currently shut down because of the pandemic and the other two we’ve invested quite a bit of money trying to make sure that we have plenty of outdoor seating,” explained Keeley Steele, a Charleston, WV business owner and member of city council. “Those are expenses that small businesses don’t normally have to count on spending.”
Steele was there with many others for an announcement about a new Small Business Investment Grant that will award up to $5,000 to several businesses.
“Many grants focus on facades or new windows or new awnings. This grant is going to go a little bit deeper,” said Charleston Mayor Amy Shuler Goodwin.
The funds for the grant are coming from the Water Settlement Fund established after the MCHM spill in 2014. Grant recipients will be expected to match any award amount by 25%.
“I hope they use it to do something that maybe they wouldn’t have been able to do on their own,” said Tim Brady with the Charleston Covention and Visitors Bureay. “Use it to market a new way or develop a new social media platform that drives their ecommerce or to winterize outdoor spaces so they are more accessible during cold winter months.”
A total of $250,000 will be awarded throughout three grant cycles. The deadline to apply is Friday October 30.