Dozens of local small businesses are receiving relief grants through a community-supported fundraising campaign. A total of 87 businesses have been awarded a Small Business Relief Grant through a program coordinated by Greater Winston-Salem, Inc. and the Downtown Winston-Salem Partnership.
The grant program was initiated to assist local small businesses in the recovery of the COVID-19 pandemic. Special consideration for funding included businesses owned by women and people of color. Businesses with 1-3 employees qualified for $2,500 and businesses with 4 or more employees received $5,000.
A selection committee comprised of volunteer community stakeholders reviewed over 200 applications and awarded grants based upon careful consideration of individual needs. Greater Winston-Salem, Inc. and the Downtown Winston-Salem Partnership would like to thank the selection committee members for their diligent efforts: McDara Folan, III, Reynolds American Inc. (retired), Linda Garboczi, GraMar Advisors, Oscar Santos, Truist Bank (formerly BB&T), Eyden Thomas, Reynolds American, Inc., and Allan Younger, Forsyth Technical Community College.
We also thank the program’s donors for their support and for recognizing the vital role of small businesses to our economy and community. Funding was provided by Wendy and Mike Brenner, the Downtown Winston-Salem Partnership, Forsyth County, Greater Winston-Salem, Inc., the Millennium Fund, Claire and Randall Tuttle, the Wells Fargo Foundation, and the Winston-Salem Foundation.
While this is a promising start, it’s clear that the pandemic has created an ongoing need for business assistance. Mark Owens, President and CEO of Greater Winston-Salem, Inc. says “small businesses have a big impact on job creation and economic growth. Our community has shown tremendous support for local businesses through fundraising efforts like this grant program and many other community initiatives. We must keep this momentum going as we work to position Forsyth County for a successful COVID 19 recovery.”
Donations are critical to support as many businesses as possible. Additional grants will be awarded based on funding received. Donation information is available at winstonsalem.com/grants or by calling 336-728-9200.