The City of Fort Wayne and Allen County are partnering with Greater Fort Wayne Inc. to offer small business grants that cover expenses associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Businesses with fewer than 150 employees may be reimbursed up to $5,000 for expenses such as personal protective equipment, sanitation products and business interruption costs. Interested businesses may apply at grant.gfwinc.com.

Funding for the program comes from the City’s and County’s allocation of federal CARES Act dollars provided through the state of Indiana. The agencies are providing a total of $1 million toward the program.

“Most of our residents are employed by small businesses; they are the engine that keeps our local economy running,” said Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry. “It’s critical to support our small businesses so our local economy can come out of this economic downturn stronger than ever.”

“We know small businesses are struggling due to COVID-19,” said the Allen County Board of Commissioners. “These grants can provide some financial relief as work to overcome the negative impact of the pandemic continues. These businesses are an integral part of our community and they must be supported.”

“Across the community, we’ve seen business leaders adapt and innovate to safely keep their doors open. These grants can help absorb the costs of those adjustments,” said John Urbahns, president and CEO of Greater Fort Wayne Inc. “I strongly encourage small business owners to take advantage of these grants.”

In order to qualify for the Fort Wayne – Allen County CARES Grant, businesses must be a private for-profit or non-profit business located within Allen County; employ fewer than 150 people and have a business start date prior to Feb. 15, 2020.

Reimbursable expenditures include:
• Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) including masks, face shields, gloves, and hand sanitizer, and disinfectant products;
• Facility sanitation equipment, products, and services; and
• Facility modifications and technology investments to promote social distancing including (but not limited to) telework technology, signage, air handling, partitioning, improvements for safe queueing, and construction of health and safety improvements aimed at reducing the spread of infection.

Applications are being accepted now through December 1, 2020 or until funds are spent, whichever comes first. Completed applications with all the correct documentation will be reviewed on a first-in, first-out basis. Information and the application portal may be found here: grant.gfwinc.com. Questions may be emailed to info@greaterfortwayneinc.com.

The Waynedale News Staff
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