WILMINGTON — A grants program for local small businesses affected by the Covid-19 economy is in the works.
On Wednesday, Clinton County commissioners verbally committed $250,000 of CARES Act dollars for a small business grants program. They will need to pass formal legislation to start the program and distribute funds.
Clinton County Commissioner Mike McCarty said at Wednesday’s session that the Board of Commissioners is not allowed to administer the program and so a third party is needed.
The Clinton County Port Authority Board has given its blessing to having the Port Authority assist with a grants program, Clinton County Commissioner Brenda K. Woods reported Wednesday.
Details on how local small businesses can apply for a grant will be forthcoming and be published in the News Journal. There probably will be a cap on the maximum amount that a business can request, said McCarty.
He also noted there are strict procedures on what CARES Act funds can be used for.
This program will involve grants, which means recipients will not have to pay the money back, let alone pay interest.
As previously reported in the News Journal, the Clinton County Port Authority in mid-September launched an Emergency Loan Fund (ELF) to provide short- to mid-term loans to local small businesses impacted by the pandemic.
According to the Port Authority website, the loans are projected to be between $1,000 and $5,000 with low interest rates (1.0 to 2.5 percent). A 1 percent origination fee will be assessed. It may be possible to defer initial payments up to six months, and loan terms will be between two and five years, with no penalty for early repayment.
Small business owners and operators also are reminded that the Clinton County Port Authority is partnering with Ohio’s Small Business Development Center to bring advisor Sangmi Kim to Clinton County weekly through the end of 2020. Her specialties are developing business strategies, formulating financial projections, and providing training to business owners.
Businesses throughout the county are invited to make a free appointment to see her — in the Clinton County Port Authority offices at the Wilmington Air Park or at their own place of business — for assistance with current and future opportunities.
Kim can be emailed at KimSj4@miamioh.edu .
At the Wednesday county commissioners meeting, year-to-date recipients of CARES Act funds received by Clinton County were listed. Among them are all four public school districts in the county, the Council on Aging of Southwestern Ohio, various county departments including the Clinton County Health Department, and Clinton County Community Action.
Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.