Hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic and unable to obtain other government relief funding, 33 Johnson County businesses have received grants to assist with their recovery.
Project Better Together, a community initiative driven by the Iowa City Area Business Partnership, Think Iowa City, Iowa City Area Development Group and the Iowa City Downtown District, made grants ranging from $1,000 to $2,500 for a total of $51,950.
The businesses identified as owned by Black, Indigenous, people of color or immigrant.
To be eligible, businesses had to be a private, for-profit operating in Johnson County and be at least 50 percent owned by a person who is Black, Indigenous or a person of color.
A total of 50 applications were reviewed.
Funding for the project came from the Holding Our Own Shop Local program. The goal of the program is to spur local spending by providing an incentive of a $20 gift card for every $150 spent at a local, qualifying business.
An additional $5 is donated to the grant program.
The incentive program is supported by funds from Johnson County, MidWestOne Bank, West Bank, Green State Credit Union, Great Western Bank, Hills Bank, Two Rivers Bank, US Bank, CBI Bank and Trust and other ares partners.
The city of Iowa City contributed directly to the fund and individual donations were made. The Community Foundation of Johnson County assisted with the administration of the grant program.
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