Wheeling businesses given incentive to think outside pandemic limitations

Ohio County

The streets of Wheeling are finding power in the word ‘pivoting’ as a pandemic has dramatically hurt small businesses... but some just got the tools to think outside the box.

WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) — Businesses just got a much-needed boost through CARES Act money — 34 business will now see a total of $64,000.

One of these businesses is on Main Street. At ‘Sarah’s On Main’ the window of operation has been more limited since last March, but now that will all change with a $1,500 addition. 

The walk-in cooler would allow us to expand our Thursday dinner options and just create more work space.

Sarah Lydick, Owner of Sarah’s On Main

This wouldn’t be possible without the hard work of some grant writers who care about keeping business in the Friendly City. 

We got over $200,000 of requests in, and it’s every facet of business. I was so impressed to see that nearly every applicant has done something out of their comfort zone and do something they’ve never done as an entrepreneur to be successful and stay in Wheeling.

Alex Weld, Executive Director of Wheeling Heritage

Switching to online sales, subscription boxes, or like Sarah’s, who on Thursdays and Fridays gives out full to-go dinners to families. This could now could double thanks to that new grant-funded fridge. “We’d be able to increase the variety… instead of one option, now maybe two options,” said Lydick.

This is just one of 34 Wheeling hubs that is grateful for a helping hand. Some are getting as much as $4,000. The money doesn’t come in the form of something like a loan that has to be paid back. 

All-in-all, we know our small businesses are still feeling the pinch from 2020. “Just the foot traffic is down really significantly,” said Lydick.

It was one of those things where you don’t want to just fund payroll for one month. A lot of proposals have that. But, you know, that’s very important of course but how do we figure out a long-term plan for people so the next month they’re not in the same spot. 

Alex Weld, Executive Director of Wheeling Heritage

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