On Wednesday, it seemed fitting to meet in a place that was once facing extreme damage from flood waters, but small business owners were not interested in reliving the past, they were gathered together to think about the future and where they go from here. They were able to think about moving forward with the help of officials from the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce and the West Virginia Rise Grant Programs.
“We can do a lot of different things for business owners in terms of grant funding, including payroll, equipment, expenses that were incurred,” says Parween Mascari from the WV Chamber of Commerce.
Parween handed out applications- and information- to small business owners in White Sulphur Springs who are in desperate need of assistance. Many of them voiced concerns over taking out loans, and took a deep breath when they learned that these organizations are giving grants with no repayment necessary.
Duane Zobrist, a local small business owner says, “the grants really give a business owner the idea that ‘hey, I can do it, I can get back open, I can really be contributing to the economy.;”
Zobrist, having sustained damages to two of his small businesses, has already applied for a grant through these organizations. He says that unlike many other applications, applying for this money is painless.
“I went through it last week, really easy. It appears that even the selection process and granting process is quick,” he says.
Though Zobrist has not found out yet if he qualifies, he is hoping for the best for him and his fellow small business owners.
If you are a small business owner in a flood affected county, you can apply for a grant at WVChamber.com.