Nichols Town officials give financial assistance for businesses to rebuild

NICHOLS, SC (WBTW) – The Town of Nichols is on the road to recovery after Hurricane Matthew flooding put most of the town underwater last October.

Of the 22 businesses, 10 are back open for business. Now the town wants to help owners as they rebuild.

The Nichols Steering Committee says ‘thank you’ to businesses that reopened after Hurricane Matthew.

“Thank you for having confidence in Nichols and reopening your business.” said Former Representative Jim Battle, Jr. ”The $1,500 dollars is certainly not going to make anybody whole.”

The group will give qualifying business owners $1,500 for repairs from disaster relief fund donations.

Town manager Sandee Rogers says so far 10 businesses have received a check.

“We want to do as much as we can for the businesses. Our primary objective is to get our people home but in order for them to have a viable community we need to have the businesses going,” said Rogers.

Wednesday the group approved checks for Paul’s Fish Market and the Nichols special events hall. Three other businesses are pending.

Rogers presented two $1,500 checks to owner Geraldine Ford.

“Geraldine, on behalf of the town of Nichols we can’t thank you enough for bringing your business back and trusting this town enough to do so because of that here is a business incentives check to help you,” said Rogers.

Ford said she’s spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to reopen her restaurant the money will help repair the roof and windows.

“Any little bit will help. It’s better than nothing,” said Ford.

Now she hopes more people and customers will come back to the town to keep her restaurant doors open.

“It’s been hard because the people are not back in Nichols. I don’t have people coming by buying fish dinners or coming to eat with me or buying raw fish because they are not in town anymore,” said Ford.

18 homes have been either built or repaired with the disaster relief money. The town now has $190,000 available in the disaster relief account.

The Steering Committee will meet again on November 1st.  The group wants to hear from town residents on how to spend the rest of the money and ways to get more donations.