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(Front row) Victoria, Lucas and Randall Weddle present a $20,000 check to (back row) Deanna Herrmann, Phil Smith and Jason Burton on Friday at the London-Laurel County Chamber of Commerce.

LONDON — Two London entrepreneurs wanted to help their fellow local business owners who are struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic so they gave $20,000 to help support their community on Friday.

Randall and Victoria Weddle of London donated the money to the Love Local Fund, which is a joint effort of the London-Laurel County Chamber of Commerce, London Downtown and The Leadership Collective to provide relief to locally owned small businesses in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Randall Weddle said every year around the holidays the couple will donate mostly to families who have small children and are in need.

"Seeing all these businesses impacted by the virus, there's just no greater cause," he said of their decision to put some of that money towards the Love Local Fund. "Even if they pay their rent out of it, that's one less stress especially this time of year."

Randall Weddle said he and Victoria grew up poor so they can relate to the business owners who are struggling to make ends meet.

"We're glad that we're in a place to help," Victoria Weddle said.

Jason Burton, who helped organize the Love Local Fund campaign, said the group of organizers never expected to be able to make as big of an impact as the $20,000 will allow them to be able to do now.

There is an application that will be given to small locally owned businesses and a committee will determine how to distribute the money that is donated to the fund.

"The emphasis is those that need it," Phil Smith, one of the Love Local Fund organizers, said. "There are a lot of businesses that would qualify in the small business category, but there are a lot of those that are going to be fine...This is for people that this is really make it or break it."

Donations made by check can be made to London Downtown – Love Local Fund at any Hometown Bank location or mailed to London Downtown Attn. Love Local Fund, P.O. Box 3332, London, KY 40743. 

If you have any questions about how you or your organization can help with the Love Local Fund, contact Julie Rea, London Downtown Interim Director at (606)224-1126 or email londonkydowntown@gmail.com.

All donations are tax deductible.

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