77 small business owners in Rowan County approved for COVID-19 grant program

Updated: Dec. 30, 2020 at 4:13 PM EST
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ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - Owners of 77 small businesses in Rowan County were able to pick up a check beginning today to help with losses suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We were shut down on March 25, Friday at 5, we had to close the doors,” said Samantha Houston of Wicked Scissors Salon. The salon reopened in May, but not at full capacity. She says the county’s small business grant program will help.

“It’s going to help out a lot because during the time that we were down, I still had rent, but I didn’t charge rent because they weren’t making money, so it was tough,” Houston said.

Denise Broome is a partner in Southern Style Catering and Event Planning located inside the Club at Irish Creek in Kannapolis. She visited the Rowan County Tax Office on Wednesday morning to pick up a check.

She says her business was hit hard by the pandemic, and she is grateful for the check.

“Once the head count cap was put into place it pretty much shut down all weddings, class reunions, those are anywhere from 100 to 250 people sometimes, the cap was at 25,” Broome said, adding that the grant is a blessing. “Oh my gosh, it’s such a blessing, it keeps us afloat, helps us to help our employees, definitely a blessing.”

The county had a pot of $350,000 that was available. 77 small businesses were approved. Those with 5 or fewer employees got $3500, those with between 6 and 24 got $5000.

The grants won’t replace all that has been lost by small business during the pandemic. But owners like Samantha Houston says the money will certainly help and hopes it’s a sign of better days to come.

“Looking forward to brighter days,” Houston said. “The vaccine has come through. We’re hoping we’ll have a little bit better turnout and that this thing is going to go away.”

To be eligible, a businesses had to:

  • Be a for-profit business with a brick and mortar address located in Rowan County
  • Have no more than 25 employees
  • Have been in business on or before December 31, 2019
  • Be a non-essential business OR a restaurant

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