Dane Co. adds $10 million to small business COVID-19 support program

Published: May. 3, 2020 at 11:26 AM CDT
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Dane County is increasing its funding for small businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic by $10 million and shop owners said the increase brings hope.

For 48 years, Borokhim's Oriental Rugs stood on the corner of Monroe Street.

"It's called functional art. It doesn’t breakdown in five or ten years it lasts for generations," Albert Borokhim, owner said.

He calls the rugs “art underneath your feet.”

"These are rugs that are heirloom quality people can pass them on to new generations," he said.

Borokhim said the shop offers more than just decor.

"Meeting people, this is really a place to come and socialize," he said.

He said the different shapes, sizes and patterns of the Persian rugs spark conversation.

"I love to schmooze with customers, socialize with them, talk to them get to know them," he said.

He explained the Coronavirus pandemic pulled the rug from under his feet. He said bills still have to be paid, but the revenue isn't the same.

"I’m anxious and really hopeful this period will end," he said.

Dane Co. Executive Joe Parisi announced the funding increase on Sunday.

“Small businesses throughout our community have taken a significant hit during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has forced many to temporarily close their doors and question how they will stay afloat,” said Parisi.

The Small Business Pandemic Support Grant program was created on April 1 with $250,000 and increased


By adding $10 million to this program, Dane County and Dane Buy Local will be able to help local businesses stay afloat during COVID-19. It will help them with employee retention and mitigate losses during the pandemic.

“As local business owners are feeling more and more pressure as the struggle to stay in business grows, a grant can provide the glimmer of hope they need to remain positive about being able to reopen their doors when it’s safe,” said Colin Murray, Executive Director of Dane Buy Local.

Dane Buy Local has awarded $890,000 to 297 Dane County businesses so far. Grants as small as $1,000 are being awarded.

Dane Buy local is accepting applications through June 15.

A resolution to increase the Small Business Support Grant Program’s funding will be considered by the Dane County Personnel and Finance Committee Monday evening.

The County Board is expected to adopt the resolution at next Thursday’s meeting.