Press Release: Kander Teams Up to Create #FergusonRebuild Initiative
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 11, 2014
Contact: Abe Rakov, (573) 200-6775
Kander, Regional Business Council and North County Incorporated Team Up to Create #FergusonRebuild Initiative to Provide Grants to Destroyed and Damaged Businesses in Ferguson and Surrounding Area
Ferguson, Mo. — Secretary of State Jason Kander today announced that he has partnered with the Regional Business Council and North County Incorporated to create #FergusonRebuild, an initiative that will provide non-governmental grants to businesses in Ferguson and the surrounding area in partnership with the Reinvest North County Fund.
Small businesses located in Ferguson, Dellwood and Jennings that have been destroyed, damaged or burglarized since August 2014 will be able to apply for a grant to pay for business expenses including construction, rent, utilities, payroll and inventory. To receive a grant, a business must agree to rebuild in its current location or in its current city if it was destroyed, or remain in its current location if it sustained damage or was burglarized.
“When I talked to small business owners in Ferguson, Dellwood and the surrounding area, many of them told me they didn’t know how they were going to re-open their businesses. They have poured their heart, and their life savings, into their businesses, and many can’t afford to take on additional debt to re-open or remain open, even with help from no-interest loans,” Kander said. “We have a lot of work to do in the region, but one of the first things we need to focus on is helping businesses that were damaged, destroyed or looted since August return to serving their community. I wanted to do my part to help these small business owners so the area doesn’t lose them forever, so I’m thrilled to partner with the Regional Business Council and North County Incorporated to start #FergusonRebuild to provide grants to area businesses.”
Any business that was damaged, destroyed or burglarized in the Ferguson area will be able to apply for a Reinvest North County grant, which was previously established by the Regional Business Council and North County Incorporated and will also be used for #FergusonRebuild. The existing Reinvest North County Fund Allocations Committee will determine how best to award grants to applicants.
Kander also announced that World Wide Technology has agreed to contribute $25,000 to help start #FergusonRebuild. To fund the initiative, he will seek contributions from the St. Louis business community, as well as business leaders from across the state. Individuals can contribute to the effort by visiting www.fergusonrebuild.us. No state or federal taxpayer dollars or grants will be used for this initiative, as it will be completely privately funded.
“I am excited by the response I have received from the St. Louis business community already. Business leaders throughout the region and the state are committed to helping this community rebuild,” Kander said. “There are thousands of people across the country who have been asking what they can do to help in the area, so I hope they pitch in too.”
At this morning’s announcement event for #FergusonRebuild, held at Cathy’s Kitchen in Ferguson, Kander was joined by Michael McMillan, President & CEO of the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis, Kathy Osborn, Executive Director of the Regional Business Council, and Rebecca Zoll, President and CEO of North County Incorporated.
“#FergusonRebuild will help us come together as a community to support the small business owners and residents of Ferguson, Dellwood and Jennings make it through this trying time stronger than ever,” said Michael McMillan, President & CEO of the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis.
“I want to thank Secretary Kander for his commitment to step up to help NCI and the RBC businesses move forward,” said Rebecca Zoll, president and CEO of North County Incorporated. “By bringing together corporate and community leaders to raise funds, we will be able to help small businesses in North County re-open and continue serving their communities.”