POMEROY — Locals helping locals.
In tough times, Meigs County, its businesses and residents are often known for taking care of one another and the COVID-19 pandemic is no different.
“If you look at the history of Meigs County, one word can be used to describe its citizens — resilient. Through every hardship, our community comes together and prevails. This time is no different. If you look around you’ll see acts of kindness everywhere. Businesses are providing meals for our frontline workers, schools are making arrangements for food pickup for students, meals are being delivered to the elderly, people are making masks for free to help keep others safe, neighbors are grocery shopping for those at risk, and the list goes on,” stated Meigs County Chamber & Tourism Executive Director Shelly Combs in a Facebook post about the agency’s fundraising efforts to help small businesses.
The Meigs County Chamber of Commerce & Tourism, in partnership with the Meigs County Community Improvement Corporation, has set up a Meigs County COVID-19 Small Business Relief Fund to help local small business through this time. A fundraiser has been set up through Facebook, as well as a fund set up at Farmers Bank where deposits can be made.
“Our small businesses truly are the lifeblood and heart of our community. They provide jobs, purchase goods and services, volunteer their time, and make generous contributions to organizations that make Meigs County a better place to live, work, and play,” said Combs.
“As you know, many of our businesses are struggling as we try to slow the spread of COVID-19. According to a survey we recently sent out to our Chamber members, 50 percent are closed, 25 percent are open with reduced hours/staff, and 25 percent are open and busy. Even though we are expecting businesses to begin reopening soon, this will be a process and it will take some time to recover,” added Combs.
Funds raised through the campaign will be awarded as grants to the local businesses. Grants will be awarded on a first come, first served basis and will be smaller in nature, as the group works to assist several struggling businesses in the community.
Business owners may apply for assistance by submitting a grant application to the Meigs County Chamber of Commerce. The link for the application is available on the Chamber’s Facebook page. Grants will be awarded as funds become available through this fundraiser.
As of Wednesday morning, more than $7,000 had been raised for the campaign.
To donate, visit the Meigs County Chamber & Tourism on Facebook or make a deposit to the Meigs County COVID-19 Small Business Relief Fund at any Farmers Bank location.
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Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.