VT Irene Flood Relief Fund Announces First Round of Grant Awards Over $107,000 Provided to Flood-Impacted Small Businesses
Barre, VT – As recovery efforts continue to move forward, the VT Irene Flood Relief Fund has reviewed nearly 200 grant applications from many small businesses showing more than $18 million in damages from Tropical Storm Irene. To date, the advisory committee has made first round grant awards to businesses from Wilmington to Waterbury; 54 applicants have received more than $107,000 out of the nearly $250,000 that has been generously pledged by individuals and organizations . Additional pledges continue to come in, but much more effort is required in order to meet the needs of the applicants seeking assistance.
Todd Bailey, the Fund’s founder and an Associate at KSE Partners in Montpelier, said, “This has been a very difficult process – every application that we have seen shows a need, but some tough decisions have had to be made because of the limited resources.” The other members of the advisory committee echoed Bailey’s comments – the seven-member committee has had a number of conference calls and has reviewed and evaluated every application.
Central Vermont Community Action Council serves as the Fund’s fiscal agent and has received a steady stream of applications. Executive Director Hal Cohen notes, “We’ve have done our best to get money disbursed as quickly as we can, but continued financial support will go a long way in helping us to meet the needs of more businesses across Vermont.” Cohen continued, “Some businesses are just now becoming aware of the VT Irene Flood Relief Fund”.
Businesses who have applied but may not have received a grant to date may be reconsidered as more funds become available. The advisory committee will be meeting to make another round of grant awards next week, and will continue reviewing applications as they are received.
“This kind of help is unique – it provides a financial shot in the arm for businesses to get their doors opened again,” said Bailey. “The more applications we see, the more we know we’re doing our best to help our small businesses in Vermont right now.”
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Founded in August 20011 by Montpelier resident Todd Bailey for the purpose of raising money to support small businesses damaged by flooding from Tropical Storm Irene. After a grant application review process, all funds raised will be directly awarded to Vermont businesses in their efforts to rebuild from damage or losses sustained. Grant applications can be obtained online atwww.vtirenefund.org
or by calling 802-552-3449.
Fiscal Agent: Central Vermont Community Action Council
Founded in 1965, Central Vermont Community Action Council (CVCAC) helps people achieve economic sufficiency with dignity through individual and family development. CVCAC is part of the nationwide network of Community Action Agencies; a 501(c)3 nonprofit agency and a Community Development Corporation. The organization serves over 15,000 low-income Vermonters each year in Washington, Orange and Lamoille counties and offers a number of statewide programs. www.cvcac.org
Member of the VT Irene Flood Relief Fund Advisory Committee:
· Andrew Brewer, Owner, Onion River Sports
· Hal Cohen, Executive Director, Central Vermont Community Action Council
· Andrea Cohen, Executive Director, Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility
· Kate Paine, Executive Director, Women Business Owners Network and Principal, Kate Paine Associates
· Shawn Shouldice, Principal, Capital Connections, LLC
· Charlie Wilson, Chairman, Vermont Alliance of Independent Country Stores
· Kevin Wiberg, Fund Administrator, Central Vermont Community Action Council
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