PERRY, Ga. — Businesses in downtown Perry can apply to get a little "BOOST."
Perry's Downtown Development Authority started a grant program in 2015 for businesses in need.
Since the start of the program, they have given out $11,300, according to the city's website.
Davida Simpson was one of the first people to receive the grant.
"It did give me a big help. It gave me a boost," said Simpson, who owns Davida's Hair Salon in downtown Perry.
She said she applied for the grant three years ago when she needed some serious help with her building.
"When the roof started leaking, I was having to figure out how to get that money, you know, some money to do the roof, and somebody suggested to me that we have the booster club," said Simpson.
When the "BOOSTers" approved Simpson's application, they and the Downtown Development Authority showed up at her door with a $1,000 check.
"Oh, I couldn't believe it. It was exciting, and I was like, 'Yay,' because that roof was expensive," said Simpson.
Dey Palmer, the Vice President and Commercial Lender at The Bank of Perry, joined the BOOST board two years ago.
"We're trying to help businesses, you know, small business owners. They're really the ones who need the help the most," said Palmer.
Palmer said all the board members donate $200 every year and they award two grants a year.
"This money is out there, you know? We gotta give it away to somebody, so hopefully, they pick it up and say, 'Hey, why not me?'" said Palmer.
He said the board looks at the applications and chooses one or two businesses that need the money the most.
Ashley Hardin, City of Perry Economic Development Director, said the grant is completely funded by the businesses of Perry. The funds are used to improve building facades or buy updated equipment.
"Perry is seeing net new job growth from both large and small employers and the BOOST program is an additional resource for growing businesses to offset costs," said Hardin.
After Simpson won the grant, she decided to join the board, too.
"You kinda want to pay it forward, so that's kind of, again, what made me want to be a booster," Simpson said.
She said all of the merchants downtown just want to help each other.
"It does exactly what it says -- it's to give a boost," said Palmer.
A consignment shop named Yes! It's Consignment is the most recent grant recipient. They received $700 this year to use for new software.
There are currently seven members on the board and the Downtown Development Authority says they are always looking for more members.