Dane Co. businesses expected to receive $15 million in aid after board vote

Updated: May. 6, 2021 at 5:16 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Small businesses in Dane County are expected to get some much needed relief Thursday night during a county board meeting vote that would provide another $15 million in aid for those that are struggling.

County Executive Joe Parisi announced the funding proposal Thursday, which if approved, will go toward the Small Business Pandemic Support Grant Program.

“So many of our businesses are continuing to struggle to make ends meet and rebound from the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic over the past year,” said Parisi. “While recovery will not happen overnight, these grants play a crucial role in helping our local economy and area businesses bounce back.”

The partnership with Dane Buy Local for the grants has already received more than $14 million in order to help county businesses, bringing the total investments now up to $29 million. Dane Buy Local Executive Director Colin Murray explained multiple businesses have exhausted their available financial resources.

“In no way are businesses secure, but they’ve at least had a fighting chance because of the proactive efforts of Dane County through the grant program,” said Murray. ”The work is not done, and more grants are imperative to be able to continue the fight. The businesses need us, and we need the businesses.”

Dane Buy Local awarded $4 million in Round 2 from this grant program to businesses in January. All of those funds have been allocated to just over 400 businesses, with the each average grant totaling $10,000.

The number of grants going to businesses owned by people of color and women also increased by 39% and 59%, respectively.

The funding comes from the latest round of aid from the American Rescue Plan.

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