Those of us who live in Columbia County know what a very special place it is. In this time of crisis, protecting the small local businesses and not-for-profits that are the backbone of our communities is absolutely imperative. Our small shops and businesses are the innovators and energizers of the Columbia County economy, and we will need them more than ever during our recovery from the impact of COVID-19. These two funds will be a lifeline to the friends and neighbors that we all rely on every day, and I am proud to have played a role in their creation. . . .The Columbia County COVID-19 Emergency Respond Fund has been established by BTCF to provide flexible resources to nonprofit organizations to meet the needs of individuals and families who are disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus. The fund will prioritize human services and community-based organizations with experience helping individuals and families stabilize their lives in times of crisis. Donations to the fund and applications from eligible nonprofits can be made at BerkshireTaconic.org/ColumbiaCOVID19.
The Columbia County Business Continuity Fund has been established by BTCF and CEDC, in partnership with the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce and the Hudson Business Coalition. It will provide cash grants to small businesses in our city and town centers with fewer than ten full-time employees and less than $1 million in annual revenue. These businesses can apply for grants from $1,000 to $5,000 to cover costs related to retaining employees, paying rent, and other fixed operational costs. Donations to the fund can be made at BerkshireTaconic.org/BusinessContinuity. Applications for funding can be made, beginning on April 1 until April 15, at www.columbiaedc.com.
A group of partners has committed more than $360,000 to these two funds. One hundred percent of the money contributed to each fund will go directly to nonprofits and businesses.