CARES Act grant program: 31 Powell businesses receive funding

Jim Fischer
ThisWeek
Several businesses have been awarded funding through the city of Powell's Small Business Grant Program. A few of the businesses' representatives are pictured: (front row, from left) Mike Frank, Savior Cooking & Wine co-owner; Holly Schaffner, Mrs. Turbo's Cookies owner; Brian Mathias, Ill Mannered Brewing Co. co-owner; Art Bouzoudis, Artina Promotional Products vice president; (back row) Mike McCauley, Savior Cooking & Wine co-owner; Elton Sargent, Prohibition Gastro Lounge owner; and John Blakely, the Daily Growler owner.

Thirty-one local businesses have been awarded funding through the city of Powell’s Small Business Grant Program.

The city, along with Powell’s Community Improvement Corp., announced the availability of the funding in November in an effort to help local businesses struggling financially as a result of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

The funds were made available to the city through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, federal money distributed to local governments.

To be eligible, businesses must be inside the city, have 25 or fewer employees and have been affected by COVID-19 business closures or restrictions.

Roughly $228,000 has been awarded to businesses, including restaurants, retail shops, salons, health and fitness establishments and others.

“This year has been challenging for our community, especially our local businesses,” City Manager Andrew White said in a news release. “We want businesses in our community to know they’re not in this alone and that the city and residents are here to give them the support they need for all of us to make it to the other side of this pandemic together.”

More:Powell offering grants to pandemic-affected small businesses

Holly Schaffner, owner of Mrs. Turbo’s Cookies, told ThisWeek the aid reflects, on a more formal basis, the kind of support her business has received from area residents since the pandemic began. 

“This community has been supportive of small businesses and not just around the holidays,” Schaffner said. “There has always been a strong sense of ‘What can we do to make sure you’re still here after all this is over?’”

Grant recipients included Rue de Lily, Ill Mannered Brewing Co., Anne’s Kitchen, the Skin Spa of Powell, Nocterra Brewing Co., Monte Carlo Italian Kitchen, the Daily Growler, Arc Chiropractic & Rehab, KSM Sports and Fitness, LV Spa Nails, Beehive Bread Co., Powell Taekwondo Academy, Powell Veterinary Clinic, Annie’s Wine Cottage, Savoir Cooking & Wine, the Glass Slipper, GoYoga, Artina Promotional Products, Fred Astaire Dance Studios Powell, Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream, Steele Salon Bars, Queen Nails, Below Zero Cryotherapy Studio, Blue Sky Car Wash, Kraft House No. 5, PC Events Catering Inc., Locker Soccer Academy, Prohibition Gastro Lounge, Mrs. Turbo’s Cookies and Koble Greek Italian Grill.

Those businesses will use the funds to cover a variety of pandemic-related costs, including but not limited to missed rent or mortgage payments, personal protection equipment, materials to prepare for cold-weather outdoor dining and other materials needed to ensure proper social distancing and adherence to other health and safety recommendations.

“The pandemic has greatly affected our business and continues to impact it. We had to completely shut down from mid-March until the beginning of June, with the exception of our ‘Birthday to go’ created for quarantine birthdays,” Sue Macklis, co-owner of the Glass Slipper, told ThisWeek. "The grant funding will assist us with PPE, rent assistance and our daily operations. We are very grateful for this assistance.”

Schaffner said she has had to adapt her business to pandemic conditions, as well. The shop, which primarily was a dine-in operation, has had to find new ways to get cookies into the hands of customers.

“Prior to the pandemic, we were almost exclusively people coming in and eating cookies and milk or coffee at the bar,” she said. “The shop is small and it’s hard to properly distance, so we worked to create take-and-bake dough and cookie kits, and we added delivery.”

Schaffner said the grant would help her “pay the rent, let’s be honest,” as well as maintain staff to continue to allow for delivery.

“The Powell Community Improvement Corp. is grateful for the opportunity to use CARES Act funding to assist the local economy,” said CIC president Jim Hrivnak. “We look forward to continuing our partnership with our business community as we head into the economic recovery of the pandemic.”

City spokesperson Megan Canavan said City Council and the CIC have had preliminary discussions on future rounds of grant funding, but no decision has been reached.

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