Bedford passes second phase of grant program to help local biz

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BEDFORD, Va. (WDBJ) - "They went to battle for us and they're going to help us stay in business," said Jenee Welsh, Something Else Boutique owner.

WDBJ7 photo

Like many other business owners, her shop had to close and took a hit because of the coronavirus.

"With us being shut there is zero income, so nobody's walking in our doors cause people are staying at home and we're not making money so we're unable to pay our bills, we're unable to stay in business," said Welsh.

Now back open, her store is one of many receiving grant money from the town's small business support program.

Welsh says the program shows how much the town cares for its people.

"It's wonderful, the feeling is amazing because now, business owners in the town are going to go back to their business and they're not going to be behind," said Welsh.

And now, the town has passed a second phase for that program.

It includes other small businesses that weren't eligible for phase one. However, those eligible for phase one will not be eligible for phase two.

"So this is going to capture those professional services or those like perhaps salons - others who were actually forced to be closed completely. So, this should help them," said Mary Zirkle, Bedford economic development coordinator.

Mayor Steve Rush says the move was important because many businesses have suffered a dry spell due to the pandemic.

"These people have been closed two to three months and there's been no income and we want to keep our businesses open," said Rush.

Back at Something Else Boutique, Welsh looks forward to bright days ahead knowing that her town has got her back.

"As a business owner our fear is to get behind and not be able to get ahead or catch up but our town has went to battle for us and is going to allow us a clean slate so we're able to pay our bills and start fresh," said Welsh.

Applications for phase two will open next week and will be found here.

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