Montpelier Alive and the Montpelier Foundation announced the first disbursement of funds raised through the Montpelier Strong Recovery Fund. More than 120 businesses received $4,000 checks to use for their immediate recovery needs.
“The last three weeks have been immensely challenging for our downtown business owners,” said Katie Trautz, Executive Director of Montpelier Alive. “Putting these checks into their hands has been a much-needed ray of hope. Not only do they provide immediate, flexible recovery funding, they also show the incredible love and support our community has for our local businesses.”
The Montpelier Strong Recovery Fund was raised directly from the Montpelier community and other supporters, with over 1300 donors making gifts ranging from online donations of $25 to cash and stock contributions of more than $100,000. The fund has raised more than $1 million, and fund leaders have set a goal of raising an additional $1 million.
“We have been bowled over by the generosity of our community,” said Sarah Jarvis, Chair of the Montpelier Foundation. “When our businesses need them most, Montpelier residents are stepping up. This means so much to our businesses and our downtown—and will be critical to our future.”
All successful grant applicants received $4,000. For the initial round of grants, businesses were only required to certify that they had significant flood losses and that they intend to reopen. The grant process was expedited to ensure that funds would be made available quickly. Future grant funds will be more targeted.
While these initial checks are important first seeds of recovery, Montpelier’s businesses will need much more funding to rebuild and reopen. Fund leaders estimate local business damages and lost inventory at approximately $20 million, a figure which will probably grow. FEMA will not provide grants to businesses struggling with their recovery needs, so local fundraising is essential. The Montpelier Strong Recovery Fund expects to offer another round of funding in the near future as more dollars become available.
Donations to the fund can be made at https://www.montpelierstrong.org/.
About the Montpelier Strong Recovery Fund
The Montpelier Strong Recovery Fund was created by Montpelier Alive and the Montpelier Foundation to invest in business recovery following the July 11 flooding in Montpelier. The community has already come together to raise nearly $1 million in gifts and pledges towards the fund’s campaign goal of $2 million. All gifts are tax deductible and can be made at https://www.montpelierstrong.org/.