Regrow 2020

NORFOLK - A success is how you could describe the recent ‘Regrow 2020’ program and its effort in helping local small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

President and CEO of the Norfolk Area Chamber of Commerce Denise Wilkinson says through the program, a 50-percent match was added to the value of any gift card or certificate purchased by consumers from an approved business.

Wilkinson says a number of sponsors helped raise $118,500 for the program.

"With the donations of $118,500, if you look at the math of that, that infused over $350,000 into the Norfolk and Madison County businesses. (The program) wasn't all just Norfolk businesses, and you know these retailers are just starting out after COVID-19. It's very difficult having to find creative methods to make  their payments so we were excited to do this and I think it helped."

Wilkinson says some salons were sold out of gift cards in just two hours, and that was a pleasant surprise.

She says over 100 applications were received and 90 businesses were funded with gift cards.

In other news

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Gov. Pete Ricketts is doubling down on his decision to leave Nebraska as the only state that has discontinued emergency food assistance benefits that were made available under the federal coronavirus relief package, despite pleas from advocates for the poor.