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Entrepreneur grant program now being used to help current businesses stay open during COVID-19

The RISE Small Business Innovation Grant is now available for Ottawa County business owners to apply for the first time.

OTTAWA COUNTY, Ohio — Small businesses in Ottawa County have a new program aimed at helping them get through the financial woes of the pandemic.

The Regional Incubator for Sustainability and Entrepreneurship, or RISE Small Business Innovation Grant began as a partnership between Erie County and Bowling Green State University.

It is now being offered to neighboring Ottawa County businesses this year, with the goal to not just help new businesses start up, but to also help current businesses being impacted by the current pandemic.

"From one and two person shops, all the way up to bigger organizations that were through no fault of their own, through no fault of bad business practices were negatively effected through the pandemic," said Ken Williams, President of the Ottawa County Improvement Corporation.

The goal will be to award grant money to potentially 40-50 businesses, with funding ranging from $500 to $3,500.

Along with the much needed capital, OCIC will also hold quarterly training sessions to help these businesses learn how to adapt their business model to better fit into the current socially distanced, digital business world.

"So they can learn how to take photos, do social media posts, appropriate hashtags, and learn how to communicate with the general public as it relates to the product or service that they're selling," said OCIC Director Chris Singerling.

Owners of a small businesses in Ottawa County, still have time to participate in this program. The application deadline is next Friday, Nov. 6. 

Then the folks at the Ottawa County Improvement Corporation hope to not only approve the recipients, but award them their grant money before the end of the year. 

You can apply here.

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