XENIA — The Greene County Board of Commissioners voted Thursday to double the Greene County CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Grant for Small Businesses program by allocating an additional $500,000 in funding to assist more businesses in need.
The Greene County Department of Development, which administers the program, forwarded feedback from county businesses to the board, which resulted in the decision to increase funding.
Citing the importance of small businesses and assisting business owners during the pandemic, commissioners voted to increase the total funding for the program to $1 million, according to the department’s director, Eric Henry.
“We want to be sure there are sufficient CARES Act dollars available to assist our small businesses throughout the county,” said board president Bob Glaser. “These businesses are an integral part of our community and they must be supported.”
Since the program began accepting applications on Aug. 1, the department has awarded all of the $500,000 that originally funded the program, Henry said. He reported the money has been used to help approximately 68 Greene County businesses in 10 different jurisdictions.
An amendment to the program, also approved Thursday by the commissioners, allows the department to accept grant applications from companies that have previously received Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) and assistance from the Small Business Administration (SBA) for COVID-19 related expenses.
This latest change marks a milestone moment for the program in that it features the removal of the last major restriction for eligibility. The program was designed to slowly relax restrictions as it went so that the hardest-hit businesses and businesses that had not received other forms of assistance received priority placement in receiving grants as early as possible, Henry explained.
“It was always part of our internal strategy to remove this restriction,” Henry said in a release. “Our department has received overwhelmingly positive feedback about this program from Greene County business owners and this new guidance will allow us to help even more people as we head into the holiday season.”
Eligible small businesses can apply for up to $10,000 for reimbursement of COVID-19 related costs incurred after March 1 including sanitizing and personal protective equipment, costs related to enforcing social distancing, rent/mortgage, non-municipal utilities, and business insurance.
Businesses that have received funding through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), EIDL program, or the SBA will not be able to claim expenses for which they have already received assistance for.
Miami Township, Sugarcreek Township, and Xenia Township have also pledged portions of their CARES funding for the department to administer toward each jurisdiction’s respective local businesses.
Eligibility requirements and applications for the program can found at greenecountydod.org. Applications will continue to be accepted until all funds for the program have been depleted or until Friday, Oct. 30.