Relief available for Spire small business customers
One of Alabama’s natural gas utilities is seeking to help small business customers get back on their feet.
Spire has created a fund to provide relief on bills for small businesses adversely affected by the COVID-19 closures. Under the program, eligible businesses may receive up to $200 in grant money through the program.
Customers can apply through the company’s website.
Alabama Public Service Commission President Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh believes the program is one of many which can provide an added boost to the state’s small businesses.
“We need to do whatever we can to help small businesses,” she told Yellowhammer News. “Programs like Spire’s will give Alabama’s small businesses the relief they need until they get fully back on their feet. The quicker we can get the small business sector moving at full speed, the faster our economy will recover.”
Cavanaugh, whose commission regulates Spire, pointed out that grants continue to be available.
“There is still plenty of money remaining in this relief fund, so I would encourage everyone not to be shy and apply immediately,” she said. “Alabama’s entrepreneurs are at the heart of our economy. It’s encouraging to see companies such as Spire stepping up to do their part to help them.”
On the front end of the application process, small business customers with active gas service through Spire during the last six months will need to show a loss in revenue month over month due to COVID-19 closure, a valid business status through either the Alabama Secretary of State’s Office or the Better Business Bureau and that they are locally-owned and not a franchise.
Spire committed in April to provide $500,000 in matching funds as part of its DollarHelp program for customers affected by the COVID-19 crisis. Spire originally created the DollarHelp program in 1982 to assist limited-income customers in the communities it serves. Now managed through the United Way, DollarHelp allows Spire customers to donate $1, monthly, to help other customers in need of assistance with their natural gas bills.
Spire began on April 16 matching the expected first-year contributions of new and increased pledges, dollar for dollar, up to $500,000.
“With these new challenges, come new opportunities – new opportunities to help and engage with our customers on an even deeper level,” said Suzanne Sitherwood, Spire CEO, in a release from the company.
Tim Howe is an owner of Yellowhammer Multimedia