Town of Essex Logo pictured on park equipment on June 5, 2019. (Rich Garton / CTV Windsor)

The Town of Essex has launched a grant program to help assist businesses with adapting operations for reopening with COVID-19 measures in place.

At a special meeting Monday, June 29 town council supported the creation of a $100,000 fund for the Business Relaunch grant program. The program will offer up to $500 each to help businesses offset reopening costs.

“As we move into reopening, this grant will ensure local businesses can do so safely,” Nelson Silveira, Economic Development Officer, said in a news release. “The program is designed to reduce the burden on local businesses who provide valuable goods and services to our community.”

The grants will cover up to $500 of the costs associated with new required COVID-19 safety measures such as physical barriers and protective shielding. Businesses who have already set up protective measures may also be eligible for reimbursement.

“This is an investment not just in our local businesses, but also in the safety of our community,” said Mayor Larry Snively. “All of us, as members of this community, have a responsibility to do everything we can to stop the spread, and we appreciate all the hard work that has gone into getting us where we are today.”

Eligible businesses must be located in the Town of Essex, be a registered business (sole proprietorship, partnership or corporation), be a business assessed in the commercial class or a non-profit, charitable, cultural organization with a physical location, the town states.

Franchises, home-based businesses, and online-only stores are not eligible.

There will also be a requirement for businesses to submit documentation related to their purchases.

Essex businesses can apply for the grant at www.essex.ca/RelaunchGrant