Wayne County Small Businesses Receive COVID-19 Grant Assistance

(Richmond, Indiana) – Wayne County small businesses are receiving financial assistance made possible by a $250,000 grant awarded to Wayne County from the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA). Thirty-four businesses will receive up to a $10,000 grant from the OCRA Wayne County Small Business Grant Program. Jeff Plasterer, Wayne County Commissioner, and member of the grant scoring committee, says the central premise of the OCRA grant program was that certain businesses were hit harder than others by the pandemic and both owners and their employees were in greater need of assistance. The OCRA grant funding will help businesses to retain Low-to-Moderate Income employees and return to profitability. Plasterer says, “We hope we’ve been able to distribute these funds to those hardest hit by the pandemic and most in need of assistance in order to help them survive until the economy turns the corner.”

In addition, $80,000 remaining in a local fund developed by Richmond and Wayne County Governments, the Economic Development Corporation (EDC) of Wayne County and the Economic Growth Group (EGG) allowed the county to expand the grant program. A combined total of $324,377 was awarded to 38 businesses. Some grant recipients received partial funding from both OCRA and local funds, but the guidelines for receiving funds and the required reporting are one in the same. Vice President of Wayne County Council, and a member of the grant scoring committee, Beth Leisure says small businesses create a unique community identity. “Our goal is to keep our small businesses operational and maintain our community’s economic health. Grants are a great way to help supplement and grow a business without the challenges of repaying traditional financing.”

Wayne County Government, in cooperation with Forward Wayne County, EDC of Wayne County, Wayne County Area Chamber of Commerce, and Wayne County Convention and Tourism Bureau applied for grant funding from OCRA and developed the grant program to disburse the funds to qualified small businesses. Plasterer says, “Small businesses are really the backbone of our local economy and the pandemic hurt many of those businesses and their employees badly. This grant program is an effort to help those business owners stay in business and keep their people employed.”

To be eligible to receive a grant, businesses had to have 50 or fewer full- or part-time employees, be in operation in Wayne County prior to March 1, 2020, and be able to demonstrate a loss of revenue due to the pandemic. The grants can be used for working capital including rent, mortgage, utilities, and other day-to-day expenses; payroll; support of remote work; and to pay past due bills and/or pay any taxes owed. Businesses cannot use the funds for capital equipment purchases.

The chart below includes the names of the businesses who received grants and the amount of the grant.

Business Name OCRA Grant Local Grant
The Studio $6,302
Luxe Lizzies 4,500
Dale’s Pizza 10,000
Taste of Szechaun 5,500 $4,500
Best Western 10,000
Richmond Inn & Suites 4,500 5,500
Little Sheba’s 10,000
King’s Café 10,000
Maitlen Heating & Air 4,500 2,500
Travelodge 6,500 3,500
A Morgan Construction 10,000
The Cordial Cork 10,000
The Corner Café 9,500 500
Just Smokin’ LLC 4,500 2,500
JoAnn’s Café 5,500 4,500
Firehouse BBQ 10,000
The Brown Jug 5,500 1,500
Wheeler’s Antiques 3,500 2,485
John’s Custom Framing 3,500 378
Captain’s Corral 10,000
Doublehead Trading Co. 3,500 2,962
Motel 6 10,000
Allen’s Antiques & Curiosities 3,500 3,500
Comfort Inn 10,000
Mercurio’s Pizza 8,971 1,029
Cruise Adventure & Travel 4,500 5,500
Whitewater Cleaners & Formal Wear 10,000
Red Roof Inn 10,000
Cozy Garden Inn/Econolodge 8,500 1,500
The Olde Richmond Inn 10,000
5th Street Coffee & Bagel 10,000
Tarot Tattoo 3,083
Dollhouse Salon 4,394
Circle E Clothing 3,500 3,500
5 Arch Brewing 10,000
Cinnamon Spice Bakery 6,273
Flowers by Carla 8,500
Ply LLC 10,000
Totals $243,750 $80,627