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County Loans program to benefit Geneseo businesses

Geneseo Republic

The County Board approved loans at their December meeting that would benefit Geneseo businesses.  

The Great Revivalist Brew Lab on South Oakwood Avenue in Geneseo will be open for heated outdoor dining, even on most of the coming winter nights, due to a COVID Relief Fund Loan approved by the Henry County Board. Owner Richard Schwab purchased the former Lionstone Brewery just before the COVID pandemic shut it down last March. Despite the initial loss of revenue, he went all-out to adapt, including adding a deck which now boasts health-department-approved seating for over 45 patrons. The loan will help pay for the improvement, as well as allowing the retention of 25 fulltime jobs, with plans to add 10 more within 12 months. Schwab noted, “We have suffered financially during COVID, and this will definitely help keep our doors open and allow us to continue to provide great food and beverages for our community.”

Right next door, Caffeine and Carbs, a new coffee shop in Geneseo offering a variety of beverages and baked goods and free Wi-Fi, will open soon.  Owner Kelly Wolf will operate the business, using the the RRLF loan for construction and inventory, and to create four full-time jobs over the next two years.

Downtown, The Geneseo Donut Shop's five full-time employees will continue their nightly deliveries of sweets in the hundred-mile area and to operate a store-front location in Geneseo and Colona, thanks to a COVID Relief Fund Loan . In business for over 24 years in Geneseo, owner Bill Hines had to close last March, due to personal and family medical histories causing vulnerabilities to the COVID virus. He was able to reopen last October 24th, but is grateful for the loan funds, which will allow much needed roof repairs as well as helping with equipment maintenance, payroll, other operating and COVID-related expenses.

Weight-loss programs should be in high demand after the COVID stay-at-home order and with winter here, Ohlsen Chiropractic Center in Geneseo will be able to meet the need with the help  Relief Fund Loan. Ohlsen Chiropractic has been in business since 1988, but had to cut its hours drastically during the pandemic. Owner Robert Ohlsen reports the injected capital will allow increased availability of his chiropractic services, and meeting of everyday business expenses including mortgage payment, utilities, taxes and insurance, as well a the COVID-related PPE to operate safely.

Geneseo-based Simosky Tax & Accounting will be able to safely serve its customers this upcoming tax season as well, due to the COVID Relief Fund Loan. Open since 2003, the business was deemed “essential” during the state stay-at-home order, but was unable to keep its staff at a six-foot social distance without a larger office. The loan allows owner Paula Simosky to rent additional space for her current full-time staff of five to meet with clients, keeping them on the job. She plans to add another full-time employee in the future. Simosky reports the injected capital will also help the business purchase additional personal protective equipment needed to operate safely amid the COVID pandemic.

The Henry County COVID Relief Revolving Loan Fund Program (CRLF) received $1.1 million EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance funds and made available to impacted businesses in Henry County. For more information on the Henry County CRLF Program contact Jim Kelly, Henry County Economic Development Director and RRLF/CRLF Loan Administrator, at the Henry County Courthouse, (309) 937-3410.