File photo by Tim Mossholder/UnSplash

APPLETON – More than $1.6 million in American Rescue Plan Act grants have been given to 139 Outagamie County businesses and nonprofits in 2021.

The Outagamie County Board was updated Tuesday evening on the results of the county’s small business and nonprofit grant programs, funded through the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

The law, which was passed and signed earlier this year, included assistance for local governments to help their communities respond and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a news release from Outagamie County.

Download small business recipients HERE

Download nonprofit recipients HERE

In Kaukauna, recipients included Ghost Town Fitness Center, which received $5,000; The Galleria of Tile, which received $1,137 and the Center for Suicide Awareness, which received $25,000.

In Appleton, nonprofits such as the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center, Fox Cities Chamber and Big Brothers Big Sisters each received $25,000.

“This holiday season, many in our community continue to struggle to recover from the ongoing impacts of the pandemic,” said County Executive Tom Nelson. “Outagamie County is thankful we have the ability to help.”

Small businesses were eligible for awards of up to $5,000, with grants totaling over $209,000 awarded
to 72 small businesses in the county.

“As a former small business owner, I know how skinny margins can be in normal times,” commented Outagamie County Board Chair Jeff Nooyen. “There’s no question the pandemic had significant impacts on our small business community, so we’re pleased to have received the federal funds to do our part, along with other federal and state programs, to help them cover some of their pandemicrelated costs.”

Local nonprofit organizations were eligible to apply for grants of up to $25,000 in eight different categories; Food/Nutrition, Safe Shelter, Financial Assistance, Behavioral Health, Child Care, Youth Enrichment, Cultural Venues, and Local Tourism.

Over $1.4 million was awarded to 67 different nonprofit organizations throughout the community.


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“This is just our first step,” said Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson. “We look forward to
highlighting specifically how the nonprofit community is putting these dollars to work in the coming
months. We’ll also continue to evaluate additional strategic investment opportunities to help our
community recover.”

Additional information on the county’s implementation of the American Rescue Plan, including a new
data dashboard detailing the county’s ARPA investments to date, can be found on the county’s website
at https://www.outagamie.org/government/outagamie-county-s-implementation-of-the-americanrescue-plan.

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By Dan Plutchak

Dan Plutchak, born and raised in Kaukauna, is cofounder of Kaukauna Community News.