Citing “overwhelming community interest,” Dane County is increasing funding for its Small Business Pandemic Support Grant Program by $10 million, county executive Joe Parisi announced in a Sunday, May 3, county news release.

The $250,00 grant program announced April 1 was within a week increased to $800,000, and now stands at $10.8 million. Parisi said by adding the dramatic increase, Dane County and Dane Buy Local hope to help many more local businesses survive the COVID-19 public health crisis

“Small businesses throughout our community have taken a significant hit during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has forced many to temporarily close their doors and question how they will stay afloat,” he said in the news release. “We are happy to make this new investment in our partnership with Dane Buy Local to give even more area businesses the funding they need to make ends meet during this unprecedented time.”

A resolution to increase the Small Business Support Grant Program’s funding will be considered by the Dane County Personnel and Finance Committee at its Tuesday, May 5 meeting. The County Board is expected to adopt the resolution at its Thursday, May 14 meeting. .

The grants will help small businesses with employee retention and to mitigate losses from the pandemic, the news release states, with Dane Buy Local administering the grants.

Dane Buy Local has awarded agreements to 297 county businesses so far, totaling over $890,000, with grants awarded as small as $1,000. Applications are accepted through June 15, 2020..

“As local business owners are feeling more and more pressure as the struggle to stay in business grows, a grant can provide the glimmer of hope they need to remain positive about being able to reopen their doors when it’s safe,” said Colin Murray, Executive Director of Dane Buy Local.

For information, visit danebuylocal.com

Email Unified Newspaper Group reporter Scott De Laruelle at scott.delaruelle@wcinet.com.