Chamber announces Small Business Assistance Initiative

Jennifer Williamson, left, president of the Greater Limestone County Chamber of Commerce, receives a check for the Small Business Assistance Initiative from Andi Cordes, human resources and safety manager at Indorama Ventures Sustainable Solutions.

The Greater Limestone County Chamber of Commerce is starting a program to help out local small businesses that have been affected by COVID-19.

The new program, dubbed the Athens-Limestone County Small Business Assistance Initiative, will make monetary help available through “mini grants” paid out of an assistance fund.

“Many of our local, small businesses in Athens and Limestone County are facing an unprecedented economic disruption due to the coronavirus outbreak,” said Chamber President Jennifer Williamson. “With the (state health) order and other guidelines from the state, many businesses had to adapt their operations or cease operations for a period of time."

Williamson said the chamber wanted to start a program to help support local businesses that are struggling financially due to the pandemic. Indorama Ventures Sustainable Solutions made the initial contribution to the fund, followed by Aviagen.

“Through an application process, these grants will be awarded through the Small Business Assistance Initiative as an opportunity to support our local small businesses who are financially struggling and help them rebound from the crisis,” Williamson said.

In order to qualify for a mini grant, businesses must meet the following criteria:

• Must have experienced a financial hardship as a result of COVID-19;

• Must have employed between two and 50 full-time employees as of Feb. 29;

• Must be in good standing with state and local government jurisdictions; and

• Must be located in Limestone County.

Any business wanting to apply for a grant can visit www.tourathens.com and click on the COVID-19 Business Resource Page. Applications are available via a link.

Completed applications must be emailed to info@tourathens.com by June 5.

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