For Immediate Release

May 8, 2020

Morgan County, Ohio— Morgan County community leaders, in partnership with Rural Action, have developed a fund to support small businesses in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This fund was designed to help small businesses in Morgan County face the challenges of lost revenue and re-opening their doors safely. Grants will range from $600-$1,500 and will be determined by a committee of individuals from the Morgan County Improvement Corporation, Morgan County Economic Development, and the Morgan County Community Fund. The committee also includes local volunteers Brenda James and Amy Grove.

This initiative was modeled after the COVID-19 response fund in Athens County. A similar initiative is under way in Perry and Meigs counties.

“Rural Action assisted with similar funds in Athens and Perry counties, and they were eager to help us launch a fundraiser to start a Morgan Assistance Fund,” said Brenda James, who led efforts to organize the fund in Morgan County. “First National Bank and Citizens National Bank immediately stepped up and donated $2,500 each to start the fund. Peoples Bank has pledged $500 and North Valley Bank has pledged $1,000, so we have a good start with our fundraiser.

“Morgan County is a very supportive and positive community, and we are all concerned for the health and well-being of our small business counterparts,” James said. “I hope we will get more donations and be in a good position to help some small businesses that may be struggling to re-open. We will be giving priority to small businesses that have not received any SBA assistance, but any local business that has a need is encouraged to apply. We want them all back and we want them to know their community cares.”

In addition to grant funds, applicants will also have the opportunity to be connected to small business resources for follow-up support.

To apply for funds, business owners can follow this link: Morgan County Assistance Fund.

To donate to this effort please send checks to:

Morgan Assistance Fund

c/o Kelsey Wells

PO Box 329

McConnelsville, OH 43756

Rural Action is a regional community development organization with a 29-county footprint working with members and community leaders on a range of quality of life, environmental, and economic projects across rural Appalachian Ohio. Its mission is to build a more just economy by developing the region’s assets in environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable ways. Learn more about Rural Action at



Dan Vorisek

Program Coordinator, Resilient Communities


Ellie Dudding

Assistant Community Coach, Resilient Communities

(740) 590-7661