OTTUMWA — The Ottumwa Regional Legacy Foundation has awarded $100,000 in grants to local businesses from the Wapello County Small Business Emergency Impact Fund.

Created as a response to the stresses businesses face as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the fund’s goal is immediate, short-term cash assistance for local businesses. The foundation weighed the level of hardship faced by the businesses and how much effect the grant would help in making its decisions.

Steve Dust, the foundation’s president, said in a statement the fund drew from money previously earmarked for three other areas.

“This obviously wasn’t a program that we planned or budgeted for,” said Dust. “But we felt so strongly that it was needed that we reallocated monies from three other program areas to make it happen.”

Many of the 37 recipients were businesses that fell into categories specifically named in various state closure orders, including 14 restaurants.

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