CCPA: State COVID-relief grants, assistance programs available to local small businesses


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WILMINGTON — The Clinton County Port Authority received information on new state-sponsored COVID-19 relief grant programs over the weekend. Combined with several local opportunities, area small businesses have several options for assistance.

“One program contained within this new round of funding – the Small Business Relief Grant – is designated for businesses with 25 or fewer employees,” said Daniel G. Evers, Executive Director for the Clinton County Port Authority. “Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Offices around the State, such as the one housed at the Port Authority Offices, will be a resource for accessing these funds.”

“The new state grants are targeting small businesses, bar and restaurant businesses, arts and culture outlets and not-for-profit entities,” said Jennifer Ekey, Economic Development Director for the Clinton County Port Authority. “Both of these programs will be administered by the Ohio Development Services Agency (ODSA). Information has been released on these first two opportunities, and details for the other programs will be released soon.”

Below is a short description of each type of funding and a link to more information and application materials.

New business assistance programs:

• The Small Business Relief Grant program awards up to $10,000 for mortgage or rent payments, utility payments, salaries, business supplies or equipment, and more. This program opens Monday, 11/2/2020. ODSA will allocate $500,00 per county for initial funding; the balance of funds will be awarded statewide, on a first-come, first served basis. Eligible businesses should be prepared to supply proof of all W-2 paid employees; proof of business costs (showing the business is active); a recently filed state or federal income tax return. For more information, visit https://businesshelp.ohio.gov/small-business-relief-grant.html.

• The Restaurant and Bar Assistance Fund will provide $2,500 grants to eligible liquor permit holders in Ohio that have been limited in the full use of their liquor permit. Businesses will need to establish a registration ID with the State. License holders will need to have an active, on-premise permit as of the close-of-business on 10/23/2020, among other criteria. This program also opens Monday, 11/2/2020. The application is available at businesshelp.ohio.gov. To create the necessary Ohio ID, visit https://ohid.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/ohid/home.

Existing local programs:

• The Clinton County Commissioners are allocating $250,000 of CARES Act funds for small business grants. Details are being finalized on this program and will be shared soon.

• The Clinton County Port Authority has established an Emergency Loan Fund for small businesses offering loans from $1,000 to $5,000 with low interest rates. It is likely that this program could be used in conjunction with one of the others. More information and a link to the application is available at https://co.clinton.oh.us/departments/PortAuthority.

• The City of Wilmington received CARES Funds and is offering a second round of grant funding with its COVID-19 Small Business Emergency Relief Grant Program. This program targets small businesses within the City that have experienced financial hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Funds can be used to help pay the costs of business interruption incurred by closing, and costs incurred to meet reopening guidelines.

For additional information and the grant application, click here: https://wilmingtonoh.org/caresgrant/.

“As always, we encourage business owners to reach out to the Port Authority, or to the SBDC with any questions or concerns,” said Ekey. “This is a lot of information to process, and we want to help each group find the correct program to allow it the best advantages and benefits.”

More information on the existing programs is available on the Clinton County Port Authority web page: https://co.clinton.oh.us/departments/PortAuthority. As more information becomes available on the grants for the Arts and Culture sector, and on the funds for the Not-for-Profit entities, that information will be shared, as well.

Learn more about the Clinton County Port Authority at https://co.clinton.oh.us/departments/PortAuthority .

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