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Resilience Fund offers grants to struggling businesses, nonprofits

THE PLAINS — A fund has been created to aid businesses and nonprofits in the region that are facing economic challenges.

The Resilience Fund will provide rapid-response grants to businesses and nonprofits in counties in Appalachian Ohio and counties in the Mid-Ohio Valley in West Virginia. The founding agencies are Rural Action, the Ohio University Voinovich School, the Athens County Foundation, Sugarbush Valley Impact Investments, the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio and the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation.

Grants of from $500 to $3,000 will be available. Businesses also will be able to receive information about loans, capital investment and other grant sources.

“We are hoping to provide an agile response for businesses to help them safely re-open and recover from the impacts of the shutdown,” said Debbie Phillips, chief executive officer of Rural Action. “Rural Action is happy to partner in this collaborative effort by coordinating the fund, and we are excited to help bring resources directly to businesses in the area. We are grateful to everyone who worked to put this fund together.”

Grants can be used for inventory, rent and utilities, securing the employment of staff or other costs that are preventing the sustainability of an organization’s operation. The grants do not need to be repaid.

A grants committee of representatives from the six organizations that created the fund will meet weekly to assess applications and make award decisions.

“Our goal is rapid allocation to ensure greatest sustainability,” said Faith Knutsen, director of social innovation and entrepreneurship at the Voinovich School. “The grants committee reviews applications in the week following receipt, and a funding decision is made in the next ten business days. We hope to fund successful applicants within a month of submission.”

The Resilience Fund also is accepting donations, which are tax-deductible.

“Our community’s response to these economic challenges has been incredible,” said Kerry Pigman, executive director of the Athens County Foundation. “The Resilience Fund creates a central place where business can seek help and donors can contribute knowing their money is being used wisely and effectively.”

Businesses, social enterprises, sole proprietors and entrepreneurs in Adams, Ashtabula, Athens, Belmont, Brown, Carroll, Clermont, Columbiana, Coshocton, Gallia, Guernsey, Harrison, Highland, Hocking, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Lawrence, Mahoning, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Muskingum, Noble, Perry, Pike, Ross, Scioto, Trumbull, Tuscarawas, Vinton and Washington counties in Ohio and Calhoun, Doddridge, Gilmer, Jackson, Mason, Pleasants, Ritchie, Roane, Wirt and Wood counties in West Virginia are eligible.

Applications, information and information about making a donation is available at ResilienceGrants.com.

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