NEW ALBANY, Ind. — Officials from One Southern Indiana (1si), the chamber of commerce and economic development organization for Clark and Floyd counties, Ind., the Community Foundation of Southern Indiana (CFSI) and the Caesars Foundation of Floyd County (CFFC) announced Wednesday the initial $360,000 raised to assist businesses adversely affected by the coronavirus pandemic has been awarded.
The fund, named the COVID-19 Small Business Emergency Forgivable Loan Program, provided forgivable loans of up to $10,000 each to 37 businesses in Clark and Floyd counties.
Of the initial $360,000 raised, $214,000 was earmarked by the donors to be applied to businesses within a specific municipality or county. The remaining $146,000 was designated to be split evenly among businesses within Clark and Floyd counites.
In Clarksville, S&R Towing & Recovery, LLC, received a $10,000 loan. Owner Bobby Raggard said, “With the help of this loan, our small business will stay afloat amid these uncertain times. The rapid response and quick action of the Caesar’s Foundation was astounding! Thank you for helping our family-owned company stay in business to meet the needs of our local communities!” Other Clarksville businesses set to receive loans are 2 Guys and a Pickup LLC, SK3, LLC (S.K. Sign and Banner) and the Southern Indiana Tennis Center.
Donum Dei Brewery was the recipient of a $10,000 loan from a fund designated for use by businesses located in New Albany or Floyd County. Owner Richard Otey commented, “Donum Dei Brewery would like to thank Jerry Finn and the Caesars Foundation, One Southern Indiana and all of the other organizations that contributed to the COVID-19 Small Business Emergency Forgivable Loan Program. This loan will allow us to stay open and maintain our staffing at current levels. It will also give us the opportunity to replenish our raw materials that have been depleted by making hand sanitizer for the community.” JM Ways LLC (Skyline Chili), Kentuckiana Music Center, Periago Orthodontics LLC, and Rainbow Dance Academy also received funding from this source.
In New Albany, Bobby Bass, owner of MESA – A Collective Kitchen, and also a loan recipient, told us, “Our MESA concept has suffered greatly and with all revenue, literally stopping… this helps us tremendously. Out of all the potential assistance, Caesar’s and 1si offered our first and quickest line of help for us. We couldn’t be more grateful to have a partner like Caesar’s and 1si in the marketplace.” Additional funding in New Albany was also awarded to Copier Mart, Honest & Fair Appliance Repair, SIGS Sportsplex and Stumler’s Catering
Terri Lyn Doyle, owner of Terri Lynn’s Catering in Floyd County was a recipient and said, “It means so much to have organizations like yours who can step up and help. I only hope that six or eight months from now I can be back on my feet and in a position to help others. The livelihoods of all my employees and their families rely on the success of Terri Lynn’s Catering. This loan will help ease all of our minds! Bless all of you! Thanks for your hard work during the terrible crisis!” Also receiving funding from this designated fund was Starlight Coffee, House of K Boutique, The Purple Pearl and Summers of New Albany.
Established in 1993, Mark Fraley Produce, Inc., which was granted a loan, has become a staple of the Sellersburg community. President of the company, Caroline Miller, said, “We at Mark Fraley Produce, Inc. would like to express our sincere appreciation and are so very thankful for your community support in helping those in need. These funds will assist our company in purchasing fresh produce to stock our inventory and assure our staff that we can fully continue to serve our loyal and deserving customers in this local area.” Genesis One Enterprise, Inc., (Genesis Home loans) and Rubbin’ Butts BBQ LLC, also received funding in Sellersburg.
With the undesignated funds, seven business from each county received loans from the program. In Clark County, companies receiving assistance were: Brinegar Family Dentistry, Blitz Manufacturing, Hyperion Ventures, Sounds Unlimited Productions, Todaro Ventures LLC (American Smokehouse Stadium), Tranzformationz Salon and VIP Awards and Gifts.
Dr. Daniel Brinegar said, “Brinegar Family Dentistry is a small private-practice dental office located in Jeffersonville, Indiana and we are incredibly thankful for the support of the Caesar’s Foundation and One Southern Indiana in making the COVID-19 Small Business Emergency Forgivable Loan Program available to local businesses. Although it was an economically painful decision, we have done our best to help ‘flatten the curve’ and ‘do our part’ during this pandemic. We have essentially closed the business to everything except absolutely necessary care. This forgivable loan will help make sure Brinegar Family Dentistry is still in business, fully staffed, and stocked when it is safe to return to patient care again.“
The seven Floyd County businesses granted loans were Bliss Travel, Clucker’s New Albany, Dehoney Travel, Inc., Kelly Dental Laboratory, Madhouse, The Stained Glass Gallery, LLC, and Track Days Turning LLC. Matt Murley, one of the four owners of Clucker’s New Albany, thanked the program donors, saying, “The entire Cluckers’ team would like to thank everyone who had a helping hand in making the COVID-19 Small Business Emergency Loan Program possible during this devastating time. COVID-19 has had a major negative impact on all families throughout our local community and the world. It’s times like these when everyone must work together and help one another to get through!”
A limited amount of funding remains for businesses located in Clark County outside of incorporated areas. At this time, Huber’s Family Farm and Restaurant is the only business that has taken advantage of the program in this designated area.
Going forward, municipalities, private foundations, organizations and citizens interested in providing much-needed direct assistance to local small businesses are invited to contribute to the COVID-19 Small Business Emergency Forgivable Loan Program through the Community Foundation of Southern Indiana. Contributions may be made at the CFSI website, https://www.cfsouthernindiana.com/giving-planning/give-today/. Donors simply work through the steps and choose “Small Business” as their giving choice. If desired, donations may be designated for businesses in specific counties or municipalities.
President and CEO of 1si Wendy Dant Chesser commented, “We approached this endeavor from a ‘triage’ perspective. Everyone involved agreed the goal was to get as much funding out to our businesses in need as quickly as possible. Needless to say, we were overwhelmed by need and had to turn many worthy businesses away in the end. I think I speak for the whole business community when I say it is our hope funding will be made available for a second round of loans. ”