Nick McWilliams reporting – Grants and marketing campaigns from a local initiative are intended to get Tuscarawas County small businesses back on their feet.

The Restart Tusc program is a collaboration by economic developers in the county, led by the Chamber of Commerce, Tuscarawas Economic Development Corporation, the Convention and Visitors Bureau and a long list of others.

Chairman of the Board for the Development Corporation Bradley Bielski says that funds have come in privately for grants, along with donations from involved foundations and agencies. But one of the biggest aspects has been the exposure provided by the working group as well, helping drive business back to area locations.

“One of the things that we were concerned about is when a business chose to reopen, would they have the marketing power or capability to let people know that they had, in fact, reopened. So the Chamber [of Commerce] really stepped forward with Restart Tusc Facebook site.”

The Facebook page enables area business to post sale notices, planned events and any other information to attract customers.

To date, Restart Tusc has raised over $70,000 on its way to a $100,000 goal.

Grants come in the range of $1,000 to $5,000, and apply to businesses that have 20 or less employees.

The supplemental cashflow can provide relief when businesses are permitted to reopen their doors under state directives.

“Will they have the working capital to be able to [reopen?] There are some businesses that have depleted inventory. They may need to start to pay their employees again. So we’re looking at all of those factors in making decisions as to where to allocate the funds that we’ve raised to date.”

Residents interested in contributing to the grants can contact Harry Eadon from the Tuscarawas County Economic Development Corporation at (330) 602-4422.

Grant application forms can be located at www.tuscedc.com.

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