Mayor Tom Henry and John Urbahns

Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry joins Greater Fort Wayne Inc. President and CEO John Urbahns for an announcement to provide funds for small businesses to help them during the COVID-19 pandemic.

CARES Act money made available in October will help over 200 small businesses in Allen County.

In October, Greater Fort Wayne and the city of Fort Wayne announced that $1 million in federal money would be available in grants to small businesses to buy personal protective equipment. The money came from the federal government as COVID-19 aid.

Grant applications opened Oct. 20, with the money available until Dec. 1 or until it was gone.

“The City of Fort Wayne and Allen County strived to keep the application window open as long as possible,” wrote Ellen Cutter, vice president of economic development for Greater Fort Wayne Inc. in response to questions. “...For business located in the City of Fort Wayne, we received a large volume of applications and close(d) applications in mid-November. For business located outside city limits, those were kept open several more weeks.

Of a total of 242 applications, 237 applicants received funding: 195 in the city of Fort Wayne, 42 in Allen County; 98% of applicants received full or partial funding, according to Cutter.

“Mayor Tom Henry and the Allen County Commissioners — Rich Beck, Therese Brown, and Nelson Peters — allocated $1 million in local CARES Act allocations ... to keep small businesses and their customers safe. Their leadership on this issue should be recognized as few communities offered direct grants to businesses — Indy and Huntington are the only in the state I’m aware of.

“The Indy Chamber launched a small business assistance grant program earlier in the year. They were a tremendous resource to our team. Strong relationships and collaboration between the City, County, and Greater Fort Wayne Inc. helped us to launch this program in just three weeks.”

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