A total of 59 unique, local small businesses in La Crosse will find a bit of relief in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic after they were chosen to receive the city’s first installment of relief grants.
In all, $366,200 is being distributed to the 59 businesses, which range from restaurants and hotels to bridal shops, massage therapists, record shops, arcades, dentists, auctioneers, jewelers and more.
The city estimates that the grants will help sustain 948 jobs in the community. The average grant amount was $5,000, but awards ranged from $1,600 to $25,000 per business.
“These funds will help ensure that I can keep my staff,” said Jennifer Walker of Charlotte’s Bridal and Formal Wear, one of the grant recipients. “They are the lifeblood of my business. They are my greatest asset. I don’t want to lose them.”
The city announced the plan for the grant early in the pandemic efforts, realizing the damage many of its businesses would face as they were forced to shutter and send staff home.
“We cannot imagine how difficult these past weeks have been for our retailers, restaurants and taverns, hotels, salons, service providers and more,” Mayor Tim Kabat wrote in the city’s announcement of the awards. “These businesses and their staff represent so much good in our community.”
The city originally approved $350,000 in funding for the grant program in March, partially using HUD Community Development Block Grant funds.
But last week, the city announced it received 114 applications asking for $1.17 million in relief.
After vetting applications, it found that there were about $750,000 in eligible funding requests. Businesses had a set of requirements to meet, including residing in city limits, having 75 or fewer employees, and holding no debt with the city.
To complete this first round of awards, the city received an extra $18,600 in funding from Couleecap, a local economic development partner with the city, to supplement its own dollars.
The Common Council will consider allocating the remaining $174,000 left in HUD CDBG funding from the CARES Act next week to fund additional applicants.
City of La Crosse Awards: Amanda’s Academy of Dance, AmericInn Riverfront/Moxie’s, Applause Dance Academy, Arterial Bar & Grill, Balanced Bodywork Massage, Bean Juice, Bodega Brew Pub, CannaBiz Depot, Charlotte’s Bridal and Formal Wear, Coulee Family Dental, Country Inn & Suites, Crescent Jewelers, Deaf Ear Records, Driftless Axe & Arcade, Dublin Square Irish Pub & Eatery, Econo Lodge, Fairfield Inn & Suites, Fayze’s Restaurant, Games People Play, Greengrass Cafe, Wise Owl Auctions, Hmong Golden Egg Roll, JavaVino, King Street Kitchen, La Crosse Dance Center, LAX Print, Leithold Music, Meringue LLC, Metropolitan Salon & Spa, North Country Steak Buffet, Pearl Street Brewery, Performance Elite Gymnastics LLC, Piggy’s Restaurant and Blues Lounge, Pizza Doctors, Quality Inn, River Town Dental, Rod’s Ride on Powersports, Rosie’s Cafe, Snap Fitness, Stratton Cleaning Services, Sunshine Home Services, Super 8, The Damn Tasty, The Great Escape of La Crosse, The Mac Guys, The Rivoli Theatre and Pizzeria, Top Hat/CTS Taxi, Trim Design of La Crosse Inc., Uno Venti Pizzeria, Vendi Advertising, and Yours Truly (Wedding Tree).
Couleecap Awards: Reflections Salon, Le Chateau, Melanin Beauty Bar, Rejuvenate Nail Waxing and Skin Care Studio, Rooster Andy’s Catering, Salon Inspired, Su Casa Salon and Bridal Suite, and Task Karate.
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