OAKLAND — In March, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act (also known as ARPA) after it was sent to him by Congress.
As a part of ARPA, the Town of Oakland received funds to aid with economic recovery to small businesses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While Oakland might not have the downtown that other communities have, its small businesses suffered in the same ways and struggled to get through the past 18 months.
Thanks to the ARPA funding, at its July 20 meeting, the Oakland Town Board unanimously approved refunding liquor license fees for the past two years to all licensed establishments in Oakland. The total amount refunded to licensed establishments is $13,400.
Additionally, the town board unanimously approved sending a grant to the Lake Ripley Family Restaurant in the amount of $1,675 to aid in its recovery efforts as well.
“The federal government sent us the first half of our money just a few weeks ago and it was important to get this on our next available agenda,” said Town Chair Gene Kapsner. “This way we can get funding out to our local businesses, who can put it to good use, as quickly as possible.”
“The pandemic has been hard on everyone for a myriad of reasons,” said Clerk/Treasurer Chris Astrella. “Grants like these are precisely what ARPA money is meant for, and the town board and employees of Oakland know how tough 2020 was for our businesses. We hope these amounts will keep our local businesses on the road to recovery.”
The town board and Oakland staff want all local small businesses to know they are valued and important to the community. They know both residents and tourists alike support these businesses, whether it is an evening out bowling, a night at the race track, a round of golf, a fish fry or some food when taking their boats out on Lake Ripley. Staff and board members are glad they still are operating and look forward to many years of continued success for them.
Questions about ARPA funding in Oakland can be directed to the Clerk/Treasurer’s Office at (608) 423-9635 or [email protected].