Hartsville campaign helps local small businesses ‘to get back on their feet’

Pee Dee

HARTSVILLE, SC (WBTW) – It’s no secret the past couple months have been tough on small businesses around the country.

But help is coming to many small businesses in Hartsville.

The All-America City Comeback Business 2020 Campaign is getting thousands of dollars into the hands of businesses in town. The campaign was jump started by Hartsville’s Byerly Foundation, which gave a $150,000 grant to the cause.

“My board bought into it immediately because we don’t have any answers- we don’t even know what the right questions are,” Executive Director Richard Puffer said. “But we had this feeling that businesses were going to need an immediate infusion of some kind of cash to get back on their feet.”

Other groups like North Industrial Machine and the Greater Hartsville Chamber of Commerce have also chipped in.

The money is given to approved businesses via a Small Business Stabilization Forgivable (SBSF) Loan. Businesses located in Hartsville with less than 50 employees, among other requirements, can apply.

Brenda Cranford, who owns Brenda Cranford School of Dance, was one of the first to benefit from the program.

“I am forever grateful that our wonderful wonderful city has rallied behind their small businesses to help in whatever way they can,” she said in her studio. We are just so grateful to the city of Hartsville and the Byerly Foundation for doing this.”

Her studio has been closed since mid-March when the pandemic hit. Cranford is working on ways of getting dancers back in the studio safely.

“Whatever it takes,” she said. “We just want to be back dancing, smiling, just enjoying the blessings we have of dance.”

The committee approved another 13 applications Tuesday, totaling more than $54,000. Learn more about the program here.

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