DUNWOODY, Ga. — Dunwoody’s small business relief grant made all the difference to Rob Sayer, owner and founder of The Music Class.

“I was thrilled to get the funding,” Sayer said “We are a small, family-owned business and paying retail rent is expensive, so it really made a big difference for us.”

The Music Class

The Music Class owner and founder Rob Sayer holds his grant check with Dunwoody mayor Lynn Deutsch outside the operation’s location in Dunwoody Plaza.

Founded in 1995, The Music Class provides young students and teachers personal instruction to foster their musical skills.

Dunwoody has allocated roughly $2 million in relief funds to just shy of 100 small businesses since applications opened in December, Economic Development Director Michael Starling said.

The grant money, dedicated toward rent, lease or mortgage reimbursement, comes from the federal CARES Act. Starling said it was important to ensure the grant was managed effectively.

“So, we tried to choose something that would be simple for us to administer and simple for us to prove,” Starling said. “It’s giving them cash. And that’s really what we wanted to do: get cash back into the business. It would also help, not just the business, but if they’re paying rent, it’s also helping the landlord.

Grant awards averaged $24,000, but Starling said the allocations varied greatly based on square footage of the businesses and their rent costs.

The Music Class received enough funding to cover four months of rent payments. Sayer said it was just the boost they needed to bridge the gap left from a lack of in-person classes.

Starling said he considers the grant rollout a success.

“We thought it was a lifeline to keep [small businesses] going for another three to six months until the economy is improved, and we certainly feel that’s happening right now,” Starling said.

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