New county program will relieve small businesses


By Anna Bolton - abolton@aimmediamidwest.com



XENIA — The Greene County Department of Development has developed a grant program to financially assist small businesses in the county that have been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.

“This grant program will allow our department to give financial aid to businesses that can use a lifeline right now,” Eric Henry, Greene County’s director of development, said by email Wednesday. “We have purposefully designed our program to help the smaller businesses in our community, the family-owned stores and restaurants that make our county unique.”

Targeting businesses that have not already received aid, the new business relief program utilizes money from the federal CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act program, according to a release from the department. Greene County received $2.5 million in funds from the state, $500,000 of which has been set aside for assisting small businesses, the department reported. The remaining $2 million will be used to offset the cost of the county’s response to the pandemic.

“It is vitally important that we use a significant portion of our allocation to help small businesses across the county,” Greene County Commission President Bob Glaser said. “They were hit especially hard and they can least afford the additional costs incurred by the pandemic.”

Eligible small businesses can apply for up to $10,000 to use for COVID-19-related costs incurred after March 1. These may include sanitizing and personal protective equipment, costs related to enforcing social distancing, rent or mortgage, non-municipal utilities, and business insurance.

Requirements for eligibility for the CARES Grant for Greene County Small Businesses include:

— The applicant must be a small business with 50 or fewer total employees. From Aug. 1-15, applicants with 25 or less employees will have preference.

— The applicant must be a for-profit entity located in Greene County.

— The applicant must have a Federal Taxpayer Identification Number.

— The applicant must have less than $1 million in gross annual revenue as evidenced by records such as federal income tax returns or financial statements

— The applicant must not have already received any other federal or local assistance, including CARES or COVID- 19, SBA loans, PPP, EIDL, local jurisdiction grants or loans.

— The applicant must have a physical storefront and/or be an allowable home office as reported in the most recently filed tax return.

— The applicant must be current on all federal, state, and local taxes.

— The applicant must be in compliance with federal, Ohio, and local small business requirements.

Ineligible businesses include adult entertainment establishments; banks, savings and loans, or credit unions; e-commerce only companies; liquor or wine stores; non-profits; vaping stores; tobacco stores; cannabis dispensaries; and franchised businesses not locally owned and independently operated.

Applications for the program can found at greenecountydod.org and will be accepted beginning Saturday, Aug. 1 until all funds for the program have been depleted or Friday, Oct. 30, whichever date comes first.

Financial aid for non-profits

While non-profits are ineligible for the new business relief program, the Greene County Non-Profit Grant Program continues to aids non-profits with urgent or critical funding needs.

Funding for the non-profit grant originates with the Greene County Port Authority, which collects revenue from user fees associated with conduit financing for projects such as the REACH Center, the Greene County Combined Health District, and PACE financing for the Mall at Fairfield Commons, according to the department.

In the program’s second year, the Port Authority will grant $25,000 to the Community Improvement Corporation, which will then approve projects, the release said. Future funding will be dependent upon revenue collected from Port Authority projects.

Applications for the program are currently being accepted with a 4 p.m. Monday, Aug. 17 deadline and can be accessed at co.greene.oh.us/1642/Grant-Opportunities

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By Anna Bolton

abolton@aimmediamidwest.com

Call 937-502-4498 or follow Anna Bolton, Reporter on Facebook.

Call 937-502-4498 or follow Anna Bolton, Reporter on Facebook.