Schools, jobs and family gatherings aren’t the only things to move online amid the coronavirus pandemic. As it turns out, support for small businesses has also gone virtual. In Dane County, Wisconsin, the buy local movement moves on thanks to Dane Buy Local.
Dane County covers the capital region of the Badger State and is home to almost half a million people. It’s also home to a healthy small business community, supported by Dane Buy Local. Originally founded in 2004, Dane Buy Local has more than a decade of experience working with Wisconsin’s small and local businesses. Over those years, the organization has cultivated relationships with the county government and more than 15 chambers of commerce and business organizations. Dane Buy Local also works at the national level with the American Independent Business Alliance.
Its experience and connections put Dane Buy Local in the perfect position to respond to the coronavirus pandemic. While staff works from home, the organization has adapted many of its services and events for continued programming. For example, Dane Buy Local hosts weekly webinars every Monday morning through Zoom, the online video-conferencing platform made popular during the pandemic. These webinars allow small businesses to learn from experts and each other while complying with stay-at-home orders and social-distancing guidelines.
Perhaps more importantly, Dane Buy Local, thanks to its relationship with the county government, administers the Dane County Small Business Pandemic Support Grant Program. The grant program provides financial assistance to local businesses that have been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. With $10.8 million in funding, the program will provide grants ranging from $1,000 up to $50,000.
The grant program is available to locally owned businesses headquartered in Dane County and priority may be given to applicants whose funding needs aren’t met by federal or state relief programs. The program will accept applications through June 15.
Small businesses in Wisconsin’s capital region have been hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak, just like their counterparts across the country. By adapting its programs and services to the unprecedented circumstances, Dane Buy Local helps these small businesses weather the storm and keeps the buy local movement going strong.
Learn more about Dane Buy Local at www.danebuylocal.com.