Jessica Moore, with The Hive, accepts her grant for her business from DAEDF President and CEO Lyle Roggow on Friday at The Simmons Center.

Duncan Area Economic Development Foundation (DAEDF) has poured $600,000 into the Stephens County community throughout the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.

After donating money to area food banks and nonprofit organizations throughout the crisis, President and CEO Lyle Roggow said they turned their attention to locally owned businesses right here in Stephens County.

Those grants come from DAEDF’s Restart Program, which aims to help businesses stay on track even after closing for numerous weeks as COVID-19 made its way through Stephens County and the energy sector, specifically related to oil, crashed.

Now, businesses are reopening, but some locally owned businesses need help now more than ever. That help made its way to 132 businesses in Stephens County.

“We tried to help every business we could within the guidelines,” Roggow said. “We tried to help every area. Businesses of Stephens County are very important to us.”

The funds come straight from DAEDF’s pocket, which has funds from property rentals and other commercial needs, and not through sales tax, according to Roggow.

Of the grant funds, 75% went back into Duncan. That means 98 business received funds in Duncan while nine in Comanche and 17 in Marlow cashed out and five in Velma also received funding. Roggow said DAEDF recognizes the fact that money put into businesses in the county typically remains in the county as far as spending goes.

Businesses receiving grants, to name a few, include Kochendorfer Brewing Company, Johnny’s at Oak Tree, The Palace Theatre, The Hive and Cotton Blossom Winery, among many others.


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