LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — The city has begun dispersing money to small businesses as part of a second phase of grants designed to help during the pandemic.
As News 18 previously reported, the City of Lafayette already handed out $400,000 to dozens of small businesses last year, but Mayor Tony Roswarski says that wasn't enough to help everyone who was struggling.
The second phase will reach businesses with 25 or fewer employees in low- to moderate-income areas of the city.
That includes Downtown Dental, which received $10,000. Owner Dr. Jimmy Lutz says he opened his practice in August in the middle of the pandemic.
"We just dove in and began, knowing things would be a little iffy, a little slow but just kept moving forward with our plan and have been open six months now," he says.
The second phase gives $419,000 to 47 small businesses selected out of 84 applicants.
The city on Tuesday awarded 17 small businesses with the the first portion of that money, about $154,000, which can be used for payroll, rent and utilities. The rest of the money will be dispersed to the remaining businesses by mid-March.
The money is provided by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development as part of the CARES Act pandemic relief package.
As News 18 previously reported, Roswarski estimates the city has invested about $1 million in small businesses during the pandemic.
That number includes two phases of grants, the Fresh Air eats program, the COVID assistance hotline and the upcoming downtown marketing campaign.
"We feel really privileged to able to apply for this grant and to be a part of the downtown community," Lutz says. "We want this city to thrive. I know the city is definitely invested in keeping downtown going."