April 10, 2020

Sauk County Chambers Small Business Relief Fund

Discover Real Baraboo

Sauk County Small Business Relief Fund

The Baraboo Area Chamber of Commerce worked with the other Sauk County chambers of commerce and Sauk County to offer a COVID-19 Small Business Relief Fund this spring. The Baraboo Area Chamber of Commerce issued $47,500 in 95 grants to area businesses. The Chamber would like to thank the Sauk County Economic Development Committee, the City of Baraboo, the Village of West Baraboo, and many local donors for their support.

To read Executive Director Darren Hornby’s letter to the community, click here or see below!

Baraboo Area Chamber of Commerce Discover Real Baraboo

Dear Community Member:

It is difficult in these sad, strange and often scary times to make sense of anything. There are so many questions for

which no one really has answers, but a common theme has emerged, and that seems to be that we are all in this


The four Sauk County Chambers of Commerce have come together to make difference if we can, but

we need help. All of our communities look very different than they did just a few weeks ago, and none of us ever

thought that we would see our businesses, churches and schools closed, our doors locked to the public and our

streets nearly empty. These were all necessary steps, but like you, we all are anxious for the day when the

recovery begins, and we know that it is going to take a long time, and it is going to be difficult for many.

As an answer to some of the need that we know exists, our four Chambers in partnership with the Sauk County

Economic Development Committee have established a Small Business Relief Fund. The purpose of the fund is to

provide grants that range from $500 – $1,000 to small business owners with less than five-employees, and who have

experienced losses due to COVID-19. Distribution of the funds could begin as early as mid-April and will continue

until all funds are expended. Our hope is that this may help some businesses get through this difficult time and

retain their employees. We want and need our diverse business communities to not just survive, but to thrive when

this is over.

How can you help? If you have the resources available to assist businesses in need, this fund may be a way for you

to help. We have all seen amazing acts of kindness in the last few weeks, and we know that people want to help,

but they don’t always know how to help. We hope that by establishing this fund we are providing an opportunity

for people to safely give back to their own community. You can be assured that your donated dollars will remain

in your community, helping the very businesses that serve your friends, family and community at large. When you

donate, you will mail your check to your local chamber of commerce. Your chamber director will ensure that all

dollars collected locally will stay local. Each chamber of commerce was awarded $20,000 in match dollars from

the Sauk County’s Economic Development Committee, and each chamber will be responsible for accounting for all

of the dollars donated and disbursed in their community. All of us believe that additional dollars will be

contributed through either public or private funds once people can contribute to a local effort.

We know that there are some state and federal resources that some of our local businesses may be eligible for, and

we encourage businesses to apply for them, but we also know that some of them won’t qualify. More importantly,

the businesses who are struggling are often owned by the same people who give donations to Little League,

community events and more. When people ask for their help, they give. They have not asked us to do this for

them, but it is the right thing to do, and now it is their turn to receive. We believe in the generosity of the people

in Sauk County, and we know that strong businesses make strong communities.

Details about how to give to your local Chamber are included with this joint message. From all of us at the Sauk

County Chambers of Commerce as well as the Sauk County Economic Development Committee, we encourage you

to continue to follow all of the current protections and protocols. It is making a difference! Above all, we wish you

and your family continued good health throughout the difficult time. Please know that we all care about Sauk

County, and we are working together in service to our businesses and communities. We hope you will join us.


Thank you!

Darren Hornby, Executive Director

Baraboo Area Chamber of Commerce

In conjunction with the Reedsburg, Sauk Prairie and Spring Green Chambers