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Fort Wayne business owners respond to City closing CARES Act grant applications

The grant applications were introduced in late October to help with COVID-19 relief, but over 200 businesses and non-profits within city limits have already exhausted the funds.

Posted: Nov 20, 2020 10:39 AM
Updated: Nov 20, 2020 10:40 AM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) - Firefly Coffee House is one of more than 200 city businesses that received federal funding from the CARES Act provided by the state of Indiana.

The CARES grant program is a partnership between the City of Fort Wayne, Allen County and Greater Fort Wayne Inc., offering small businesses and non-profit organizations grants up to $5,000 to cover expenses associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Paul Demaree who shares ownership of the coffee shop with his wife Cyndi says, “We do this business not only for ourselves but for our community. So when we applied for a grant, it’s not just so that we can have more money to go on a vacation. It’s money so we can keep our store open and help the community heal and get through this.”

The City of Fort Wayne closed the application portal for grants to small businesses located inside City limits on Tuesday.

“It definitely only took less than a month to exhaust $750,000,” said Mary Tyndall, Community Development Public Information Officer at the City of Fort Wayne.

The CARES grant supplied a total of $1 million for COVID-19 related costs, $750,000 to the City of Fort Wayne and $250,000 to Allen County.
Demaree and his wife applied for the grant on Oct. 23, just two days after it was introduced.

Since then, the small businesses and non-profit organizations within Fort Wayne have already exhausted the funds.

The Demaree couple installed a tent at Firefly for outside seating with more space for social distancing, and more recently heaters for winter.
Both items will be reimbursed by the grant, which allows businesses with fewer than 150 employees to be repaid for expenses like personal protective equipment, sanitation products, minor facility changes, and technology investments.

Operations Director of Three Rivers Distillery Greg Bercaw says businesses and organizations that can no longer apply have to become creative to sustain themselves as long as the pandemic lasts.

“We have to continue to find ways to bring people in,” said Bercaw. “But we have to keep them safe.”

Andrea Robinson, head of the City of Fort Wayne’s Economic Development division, says she and her colleagues were excited to help local business owners during difficult times, but she knows the funding can only last so long.

“It’s great to be part of it, but it’s heartbreaking that there are so many people that need the money,” said Robinson.

The City hasn’t confirmed a plan following grant application deadlines, but Robinson says they plan to distribute more federal funding as soon as it’s available.
Businesses and non-profit organizations outside the city limits of Fort Wayne, but within Allen County may still apply for the CARES grant through Dec. 1

For more information, click here.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 611039

Reported Deaths: 9716
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion844351336
Lake45508685
Allen32891552
Hamilton29546315
St. Joseph27449381
Elkhart24440345
Vanderburgh19513250
Tippecanoe18043140
Johnson15140295
Porter14865169
Hendricks14440248
Madison11009222
Vigo10769181
Clark10731144
Monroe9424113
Delaware9152134
LaPorte9103164
Howard8268144
Kosciusko808983
Warrick676599
Hancock6741104
Bartholomew6523100
Floyd6469110
Wayne6157162
Grant6011116
Dubois556980
Boone554668
Morgan545795
Henry509764
Marshall505384
Cass485264
Dearborn483245
Noble474059
Jackson426747
Shelby419581
Lawrence392980
Clinton374243
Gibson372559
Harrison350945
DeKalb348264
Montgomery346554
Knox335839
Miami323044
Steuben314545
Whitley309726
Wabash304551
Adams302136
Ripley300046
Putnam297850
Huntington293159
Jasper290534
White274143
Daviess271274
Jefferson264738
Decatur248983
Fayette247848
Greene241162
Posey240328
Wells236451
LaGrange229662
Scott225739
Clay223532
Randolph214948
Jennings199336
Sullivan192933
Spencer192422
Washington187523
Fountain184627
Starke175643
Jay168223
Owen166837
Fulton164230
Orange160835
Carroll159115
Rush155818
Perry155229
Vermillion149334
Franklin149033
Tipton133033
Parke13088
Pike118226
Blackford111422
Pulaski97337
Newton91721
Brown88235
Benton86910
Crawford8069
Martin74413
Warren6857
Switzerland6665
Union6287
Ohio4957
Unassigned0376

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 864322

Reported Deaths: 10711
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin101705707
Cuyahoga860661145
Hamilton64392448
Montgomery43309418
Summit35063761
Lucas31500625
Butler31128232
Stark25933435
Warren19746141
Lorain19165223
Mahoning17383338
Lake16178154
Clermont16057111
Delaware1445479
Licking13274137
Fairfield1287781
Trumbull12861316
Greene12114139
Medina11666168
Clark10995265
Wood10407158
Allen9945126
Portage9382109
Miami921073
Richland9186118
Marion7467113
Tuscarawas7410182
Columbiana7356124
Pickaway728450
Wayne7080171
Muskingum705241
Erie6188129
Hancock554390
Ross5532100
Scioto541664
Geauga513555
Darke471092
Lawrence457958
Ashtabula454673
Union454628
Sandusky438562
Mercer434489
Seneca431566
Huron430041
Auglaize423064
Shelby421922
Jefferson420569
Belmont417740
Washington391840
Athens38129
Putnam376275
Madison356529
Knox354422
Ashland347438
Fulton339343
Defiance332286
Crawford323874
Preble321437
Brown313921
Logan309132
Ottawa294943
Clinton290743
Williams279467
Highland276718
Jackson265345
Guernsey256326
Champaign252628
Fayette237330
Morrow23334
Perry232018
Holmes225674
Henry220149
Hardin214033
Coshocton205722
Van Wert202645
Gallia198826
Wyandot196151
Pike177417
Adams176915
Hocking172624
Carroll156216
Paulding144721
Noble120740
Meigs109024
Monroe101032
Harrison89421
Morgan83430
Vinton70813
Unassigned00
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