Small Perry business people hurt financially by the pandemic still have time to apply for as much as $7,500 through a public-private Perry partnership.
Perry’s Economic Recovery Task Force — a collaborative effort between the City of Perry, Perry Economic Development (PEDI) and the Perry Chamber of Commerce — has extended the application deadline for its Business Modernization and Protection Grant to Wednesday, Nov. 18 at 5 p.m.
The grant fund is a continuation of local business relief efforts, providing an opportunity for businesses to invest in improvements they otherwise would not be able to, having been adversely affected by the economic disruption caused by the COVID-19 global pandemic.
“Mandated closures, adjustments to operations and weakened consumer confidence have impacted local businesses and therefore our local economy,” said Matt McDevitt, PEDI board secretary. “Businesses best able to weather the storm were those with technology already in place that allowed them to pivot their operations and offerings to better suit the needs and preferences of their customers. It is increasingly apparent that businesses must continue to evolve and modernize in order to survive, yet may need assistance to do so.”
The purpose of the Business Modernization and Protection Grant is to assist Perry-based for-profit businesses in becoming more resilient to unexpected economic disruptions, exemplified by the current COVID-19 global pandemic. Proposed projects may include updating systems or modernizing operations, such as website upgrades and e-commerce capabilities, automated inventory management and advanced communications systems or implementing protective measures to safeguard against the spread of the virus.
“State and Federal relief programs have primarily focused on profit loss during closure, but little to no assistance has been available for adapting to new norms,” said Lynsi Pasutti, executive director of the Perry Chamber of Commerce. “This is an opportunity to help businesses recover by becoming better positioned for the future.”
The original application deadline was Oct. 31, but it was extended to Wednesday, Nov. 18 at 5 p.m. Applications may be delivered digitally or physically to the Perry Chamber of Commerce at 1124 Willis Ave.
Grant requests should be between $1,500 and $7,500 with at least 20% matching funds. Eligible expenses may include projects or systems already implemented before the application deadline or grant award, so long as incurred after March 1, 2020. Applicants will be notified of awarded grants Friday, Jan. 4, 2021.
Total funding currently available for the grant program is now $43,000, after a recent contribution of $7,000 by the Bock Family Foundation. The city of Perry, PEDI and the Perry Chamber of Commerce each contributed funds to initially develop the grant fund.
Fundraising efforts will continue through the end of the year, as applications are expected to exceed available funding.
Additional information and application form for the Business Modernization and Protection Grant is available online on the city of Perry website. Questions and requests for emailed information can be directed to the Perry Chamber of Commerce at 515-465-4601 or Lynsi.Pasutti@PerryIA.org.