WINDSOR, ONT. -- Businesses in Essex will get a financial boost now that the town moves into Stage 2 of reopening.

During a special council meeting Monday evening, Essex council approved $100,000 in funding to support the town’s COVID-19 business relaunch fund.

“I think it’s a good start. I still think we have a lot of work to do and as a council I think we need to start picking up the phone calling our businesses and see who’s fallen under the cracks,” says councillor Sherry Bondy.

Businesses and non-profit groups can access up to $500 to offset a portion of their relaunch costs.

The money could be used for physical barriers, front counter protective shields, or permanent workplace modifications.

The grant intake period will be July 6 to Aug. 31.

Administration will also work with individual businesses on closing parking spaces when requested.