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Writer questions limited award of lake distress grants


As a local business owner, I would like to clarify some facts regarding lake distress grants that were awarded locally. The federal government gave the state $150,000 in grant money to help local businesses. The state matched that amount for a total of $300,000.

There was $250,000 available. A liaison was hired, (I can only assume for $50,000). The grant applications became available in April and 16 businesses applied. To be eligible for a grant or loan, the state required that the business show a gross reduction of 40% for the year. My business’s gross was down more than 45% Memorial Day thru Labor Day, which is when local businesses actually make their money for the year.

Just three grants were awarded: 1) Buckeye Lake Historical Society, which I believe is non-profit; 2) the North Pole, which closed last year; and 3) ROBBCO, which is located on U.S. 40. So in REALITY, none of the local lake businesses received any grant money,. I was told by an Ohio Development Agency representative that the remaining $220,000 will go into the state general fund.

I have contacted a US Senator, a State Representative, and a State Senator. No one seems to be able to help us. The media continues to report that grants and loans are available to assist local businesses. It sounds good, however, is simply not the whole story. We have not received any of that money.

Faye Whitaker, Owner
Olde Canal Restaurant

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