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A partnership between the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama and the Community Foundation of West Alabama is helping those suffering to make payroll during this pandemic.

The Community Foundation is helping businesses by following a model that it used after the April 2011 tornado. Under strict IRS guidelines, a nonprofit foundation is allowed to help small businesses in times of a disaster. Once Gov. Kay Ivey and President Donald Trump declared COVID-19 a pandemic, it allowed the foundation to use their disaster funds and allowed donations to be designated to the fund.

So far, the partnership has received tremendous support over the past three weeks. Checks are now going out to more than 50 local businesses totaling $125,000.

“We are talking about funds in the 2,000-3,000 range that helps someone make payroll for a couple of weeks until some of the federal stimulus money gets in their hands and hopefully keep people and some of these small businesses from going under,” said Glenn Taylor from the Community Foundation of West Alabama.

Not only are foundation leaders helping people in west Alabama, but they are also fielding calls from other states and cities, including Huntsville, Mobile, Anniston and Gadsden. They are helping businesses in these places figure out how to navigate the IRS guidelines on disaster relief to help small businesses in the area.

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