Shop Owners Given Money To Rebuild
Husseiniya, Iraq- One of the more rewarding aspects of dealing with the local citizens by some of the Coalition soldiers has been working to give out Micro Grants to help rebuild businesses. Storeowners or shopkeepers can apply for and receive sums of money to rebuild and establish their businesses, often the only resources that are available to do so.
Lieutenant Otis Ingram recently took a walking tour in the village of Husseiniya, and talked to several different shopkeepers about the micro grant program. Several of his first stops were with shops that had gotten assistance previously, but who now were fairly self sufficient and not needing aid. The first store the shopkeeper was helpful and upbeat, and thanked the Lieutenant for his offer, but directed the Lieutenant to a shop down the street who did need help.
Lieutenant Ingram is the platoon leader for 3rd Platoon, Company B. Soldiers from the Lieutenant’s platoon spread out along the shop district, talking to local citizens, trying to get a feel for their needs and the ability of the micro grant program to help them.
The micro grants are supplied with money from the Government of Iraq, and also money from the U.S. Taxpayer, through the U.S. Army funds program. “We are learning the people and the operational area, so finding out who needs assistance is getting easier,” said Sergeant Luke Groaning. Sgt Groaning is squad leader with 3rd Platoon Company B.
Soldiers from Company B, 1st Combined Arms Battalion, 68 Armor, 3rd BCT, and 4th Infantry worked among the shopkeepers and store owners throughout the day interviewing, taking notes, and taking requests for micro grants.