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More on the Love Jackson County: Disaster Relief Fund

Posted Tuesday April 21, 2020

A disaster relief fund is being organized here in Jackson County to help businesses affected by COVID-19 (coronavirus), it has been reported.
Holton First Baptist Church, the Holton/Jackson County Chamber of Commerce and the Jackson County Community Foundation (JCCF) have partnered together to organize the Love Jackson County: Disaster Relief Fund.

The goal of the fund is “the short and long-term recovery of our neighbors and local businesses,” according to relief organizers.

There are three missions of the fund, according to Carly Fletcher, JCCF secretary.

Mission One: Assist county businesses that are closed due to the potential spread of the virus.

Mission Two: Assist businesses that are operating at minimal capacity,

Mission Three: Provide Chamber Bucks to individuals with the most needs.  

“We hope to receive funds immediately so that we can make our first awards to businesses as early as April 20, if not before,” Fletcher said.
All donations to the fund, which are administered by the JCCF, are tax deductible and contributions are being accepted from individual donors, corporations and foundations. 

People can donate online at www.jacksoncountycf.org or by mailing a check noting Jackson County Disaster Relief Fund in the memo line to Jackson County Community Foundation, P.O. Box 381, Holton, KS 66346.

Businesses in need are not being required to fill out an application for assistance, Fletcher said. 

“The Chamber of Commerce is gathering the names of businesses that have temporarily ceased all business operations,” she said. “There’s no deadline. We’ll keep donating as funds come in.”

If a business owner wants to make sure their business is included on the “completely closed” or “operating at minimal capacity” lists, they are asked to email the Chamber office at chamber@exploreholton.com

“Our hope is to receive enough funds to give every business in Jackson County that has temporarily ceased all business operations due to COVID-19 some financial assistance,” Fletcher said. “How much assistance depends only on how much our community donates to this cause.”

The funds will first be equally distributed to businesses completely closed (mission one). Fletcher said that once those businesses have received funding, then businesses that are operating at minimal capacity (mission two) will receive funds, she said.

By giving online, the public can also designate their donation to a specific business or type of business (restaurant, retail, etc…), Fletcher said.
Mission three will be implemented once funds have been donated to all affected business. As part of mission three, individuals will be asked to fill out an application process to receive Chamber Bucks, Fletcher said. 

A committee will be formed of three people representing each of the three partners to review applications and award the Chamber Bucks, Fletcher said.

The total amount of funds raised and donated back to the community will be announced by mission but the names of businesses or individuals receiving donations will not be announced, Fletcher said. 

On Monday, relief organizers also started a “Pay It Forward” campaign by challenging business owners not affected by COVID-19 to donate to the relief fund.

For more information, call Ashlee York, Chamber director, at 785-364-3963.

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