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County launches new grant program for non-La Crosse small business COVID relief
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County launches new grant program for non-La Crosse small business COVID relief

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La Crosse County is launching a new small business relief grant that aims to assist businesses not within the city of La Crosse find relief amid the pandemic.

The “COVID Recovery Microenterprise Grant” program, announced Tuesday afternoon, would offer grants between $1,000-$20,000 for county businesses outside of the city with five or fewer employees.

“We know that many small businesses have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Brian Fukuda, county community development specialist, said in a statement.

“We hope this program can help some of those businesses get back on their feet, particularly in often underserved rural areas and smaller towns and cities.”

Brian Fukuda mug

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The county received $100,000 in funding for the grants from the Wisconsin Department of Administration through a federal pandemic-era Community Development Block Grant, allowing for the possibility of dozens of grants to be awarded, depending on the size of the grant.

The city received its own portion of this funding, and has launched several of its own small business relief programs throughout the pandemic.

Grant funds can be used to cover rent, utilities, staffing, purchasing personal protective equipment and more COVID-related business expenses.

The La Crosse County Community Development department is administering the grant program and will field applications.

Those interested in applying can find information on the La Crosse County website by visiting bit.ly/3vTtRgM or by contacting Fukuda at bfukuda@lacrossecounty.org or 608-785-5792.

The funding is first-come first-serve until the program runs out of money, officials said.

"We hope this program can help some of those businesses get back on their feet, particularly in often underserved rural areas and smaller towns and cities."

Brian Fukuda, county community development specialist

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