Fund created to help Lyons small businesses rebound during coronavirus outbreak

Posted at 3:21 PM, Apr 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-30 20:06:43-04

LYONS, Colo.-- Welcome to the St. Vrain Market in Lyons. It’s far and away the busiest place in town.

“It's been pretty crazy. I don't think there's a pattern to it,” market owner Neil Sullivan said.

Step outside and it is a different story.

“It's extremely quiet. And it's really quite sad and disturbing to see that all our friends, who run these independent businesses are closed,” Sullivan added.

Sullivan and his wife wanted to help their struggling friends, so they teamed with Lyons Community Foundation to start Lyons Share, a fund to help local small businesses struggling due to the coronavirus outbreak in Colorado.

“We decided to donate $10,000 to kick off the fund,” Sullivan said.

“We thought that was a perfect idea so we said we'd agree to help you out,” Lyons Community Foundation Chairperson Jeanne Moore said.

Lyons Community Foundation matched the funds and the demand was high, with more than 30 businesses applying.

“But we hope it can help in some way with their rent or their payroll or whatever,” Moore said.

“They're very touched, very moved by the gesture. I think they're very hopeful,” Sullivan added.

Those businesses are hopeful for a part of the Lyons Share, in this community that is without a doubt Lyons Strong.

“When the floods devastated our town in 2013, all had to evacuate so we thought this could help some of them in the short-term,” Sullivan said.

The fund is still growing with the help of donors as well as the market.

“We simply said to customers, 'you don't need to provide any additional funding.' You, by shopping here, are in fact helping your local businesses again,” Sullivan said.

Staying open to serve the needs of their community and their friends on Main Street.

An advisory board met and reviewed applications and decided how that money will be divided.

We plan to update you when those checks go out in a couple of weeks.