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Grants will help replace tools lost to 2020 fires

Rotary member Tom Mustard, right, helps Marco Rodriguez shop for tools at Dazey’s Hubbard’s in Medford during an earlier round of Rotary's Back to Work program. Rodriguez lost his landscaping and carpentry equipment along with his Phoenix home in the Almeda fire. Mail Tribune/file photo
Rotary accepting applications from businesses, individuals

A local Rotary program is accepting applications for grants of up to $5,000 to replace tools and equipment lost in the September 2020 Almeda and South Obenchain fires.

United Rotary Clubs of Southern Oregon, which represents approximately 600 Rotarians from all 10 clubs in Jackson County, has partnered with Southern Oregon Regional Economic Development Inc. to distribute more than $160,000 to small businesses and individual contractors.

The latest round of grants represents the fourth phase of the Rotarians’ Back to Work program, which has previously distributed more than $182,000 to 132 small businesses and individuals. Funds have been donated by Rotary clubs, individual Rotarians, other individuals, Rogue Credit Union and Oregon Community Foundation.

Past grants have helped replace tools and equipment for bike and car mechanics, carpenters and construction workers, landscapers, house cleaners and more.

Those interested in applying for the award should fill out the online application form available at rotaryrebuildssouthernoregon.com. The form is available in English and Spanish.

Assistance in completing the application, if needed, is available through Southern Oregon Regional Economic Development Inc. by emailing grants@soredi.org or calling 541-773-8946.

The money will be distributed as soon as possible after the applications are reviewed, Rotary members said.

The funds will be used to replace tools and equipment of individuals and businesses that find themselves under-insured, with no insurance, or who will not qualify for enough additional aid to return to full employment. Loss of revenue, income, salaries and wages are not eligible.

For more information, see rotaryrebuildssouthernoregon.com or RotaryRebuildsSouthernOregon on Facebook.