RHINEBECK – Rhinebeck Responds’ Small Business Grants program has selected the first 10 companies to receive financial aid due to impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The program, launched in June and open to businesses in the Town of Rhinebeck, provides grants of up to $5,000 to help offset financial issues.
Rhinebeck Responds, a volunteer organization created to respond to the pandemic, in partnership with the Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley, is funded by donations from individuals, businesses and the Frost Memorial Fund.
Local businesses are facing mounting debt, plummeting earnings and employee layoffs and 72 percent say they have not gotten any rent relief from their landlords, according to a recent Rhinebeck Responds survey.
Among the first grantees are a fine arts cinema, toy store, women’s boutique, and art gallery and studio.
“Talk about perfect timing!” said Carla Olla, owner of Rhinebeck Yoga Center, one of the first recipients. “I had started to lose hope that we would be able to keep our doors open, and now I feel confident that we will be able to hang in there.”
Elena Rose, owner of Land of Oz Toys, said receiving a grant “could not have come at a better time as it will help me catch up on my rent. It’s a huge weight off my shoulders.”
For grant applications and details about the program, go to Rhinebeck Responds website: www.rhinebeckresponds.org.