More small businesses now eligible for Greene County relief fund

Credit: Chuck Hamlin

Credit: Chuck Hamlin

Larger small businesses in Greene County can soon apply for up $10,000 grants to use for coronavirus related costs.

Greene County Department of Development announced it would begin allowing companies with up to $5 million gross annual income to apply for the CARES Grant for Greene County Small Businesses.

The program was created using the money from the federal CARES Act program, with Greene County receiving $2.5 million in funds from the state.

Greene County commissioners set aside $500,000 for the small business program, leaving $2 million to be used to offset the cost of Greene County response to the pandemic, stated a release from the county.

On Aug. 1, the department rolled out the program, which was created to provide economic relief to local businesses for costs directly associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the release. Through August, only businesses with up to $1 million gross annual income were able to apply.

“We’re opening up the program in stages, that way we’re helping the smallest, the hardest hit, first and then gradually expanding that,” said Eric Henry, Greene County director of development, “giving the smaller businesses kind of the chance to get to the front of the line first.”

Since the program began accepting applications, the department has received 37 applications and has approved 19 for grants, equaling over $153,237 in funding for local businesses.

“While the response has been slower than expected, commissioners are thrilled to be able to get this money out to our small business community. They understand how critical this segment of our economy is and they understand that they were especially hard hit. We encourage all qualifying small businesses to apply right away,” said County Administrator Brandon Huddleson.

Though businesses that bring in more than $5 million are not currently eligible for the program, Henry encouraged any Greene County business in need to reach out, in case the program expands in the future.

“If they don’t fit in the current threshold of the program, just reach out to us that way we can document that the need is out there so that we can have that discussion,” Henry said.

Applications for the CARES Grant for Greene County Small Businesses programs can be accessed on the Greene County website.

Applications for this program are being accepted now and will continue to be accepted until all funds for this program have been depleted or until Oct. 30.

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