Emergency Distress Grants Help Injured Vets Cope with COVID-19 Impact
MYSTIC, CT. Work Vessels for Vets, Inc. is pleased to announce $20,000 in grants have been awarded to injured veteran-entrepreneurs in Connecticut and across the country. Businesses owned by injured veterans in 13 states received equipment and emergency funds from Work Vessels for Vets of Mystic, Connecticut. Work Vessels for Vets is a national charity that gives equipment to wounded veterans who are starting a business. Since 2008 this volunteer-run charity has awarded more than $3 million in equipment to 2000 veteran-entrepreneurs across America.
“Small businesses everywhere are facing extreme and unprecedented income interruptions, loss of business contracts and the pain of letting new hires go,” said John Niekrash, President and Co-founder of Work Vessels for Vets, Inc.. “Many start-ups do not qualify for federal financial aid programs. These hardships are more acute for injured veteran businesses whose owners are also facing personal challenges coping with disabilities, compromised health conditions, and living with PTSD.”
Work Vessels for Vets donors stepped up to make help coming through with $20,000 to help just four days after the plea went out. Just as rapidly, grants of $500 to $3500 in cash or equipment went out to 20 veteran-owned businesses in thirteen states who were facing closure and hardship due to the corona pandemic. Their businesses are experiencing cancelled contracts and loss of cash flow to buy raw materials or pay employees. The new farmers suffer from closure of farm markets and cancelled restaurant and school contracts for local produce. The WVFV grants helped them open online markets or adapt their services to the new COVID-19 reality.
“This assistance has made all the difference in keeping us going through these tough times,” says veteran Rodney Plettner, of Coastal Wood Company, a Niantic, Connecticut online furniture business. “Now we can purchase larger quantities of materials to complete contracts for high-quality items at affordable prices. ” He used the grant to purchase materials to turn into fine furniture. His fine furniture products can be seen on Instagram at CoastWoodCompany.