Stone Mountain expands grant program to help 22 more businesses

Rory Webb and Jeff Carey, owners of Stone Mountain Public House, pose for a portrait on Saturday, January 23, 2021, at Stone Mountain Public House in Stone Mountain, Georgia. Webb and Carey were forced to close Stone Mountain Public House due to the coronavirus pandemic, but are applying for a relief grant to help fund its reopening as a piano bar and cigar lounge. CHRISTINA MATACOTTA FOR THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION

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Rory Webb and Jeff Carey, owners of Stone Mountain Public House, pose for a portrait on Saturday, January 23, 2021, at Stone Mountain Public House in Stone Mountain, Georgia. Webb and Carey were forced to close Stone Mountain Public House due to the coronavirus pandemic, but are applying for a relief grant to help fund its reopening as a piano bar and cigar lounge. CHRISTINA MATACOTTA FOR THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION

Every brick-and-mortar business in Stone Mountain that applied for a COVID-19 relief grant will receive $7,500 after city leaders expanded the program’s funding.

The city initially budgeted $150,000 to help 20 businesses weather the pandemic. However, the city received valid requests totaling more than double that amount, leaving a funding shortfall of $165,000. As a result, 22 businesses did not receive any funds.

On Tuesday, city leaders passed a resolution to fund those unfulfilled requests, pulling from the city’s general fund. Several Stone Mountain businesses said they needed financial assistance to stay in business beyond the spring.

ExploreStone Mountain funds $250K in grants for struggling businesses, nonprofits

“I think we have enough (money) to get us to April or May, but any assistance we’d be able to get could mean the difference between us still being in business in three months or being another closed business here in town,” Rory Webb, co-owner of the Stone Mountain Public House, previously told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

His cigar and piano bar, which has been closed for months, is among the businesses that will receive a grant under the funding expansion. Webb told The AJC on Wednesday that his business will reopen March 24.

Stone Mountain also set aside $100,000 worth of grants for nonprofits and home-based workers. The application period for those grants has closed. The city also offered a rent, mortgage and utility relief program for residents, which helped 63 families.

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