Miami County offers small business grants starting Monday

Troy downtown looking toward the traffic circle and businesses on South Market Street. TY GREENLEES / STAFF

caption arrowCaption
Troy downtown looking toward the traffic circle and businesses on South Market Street. TY GREENLEES / STAFF

Application period opens this week; federal COVID relief grants will top out at $25,000

TROY — Miami County commissioners have committed at least $750,000 in federal COVID-19 recovery funds to grants for county small businesses negatively impacted by the pandemic.

The commissioners on Tuesday approved creating the Small Business COVID-19 Recovery Grant Program using a portion of the county’s first $10 million in American Recovery Plan Act, or ARPA, funds.

“This is a big deal. We are taking some of our ARPA money and putting it out for small business grants to help our public through this pandemic,” said Commission President Ted Mercer.

“I am just excited that we can reach out to the community. I know our community has been hurt the last couple of years,” said Commissioner Greg Simmons.

The grant applications will be available starting Monday, Feb. 28. They initially will be posted on the county commissioners’ website (www.co.miami.oh.us/122/Commissioners) with directions on how to submit the application via email. Paper copies will be available in the county Department of Development office in the Hobart Center for County Government, 510 W. Water St. in Troy.

Information also will be included on a county website that will be dedicated to ARPA, which is expected to launch in the next couple of weeks.

The commissioners put the development department in charge of this program. The department also handled applications for grant made by the county using CARES Act money in 2021

Questions about the application will be handled by Michael Clarey, county development services manager.

Among the grant program eligibility rules are:

** Business must have been impacted negatively by the pandemic

** Must have 50 full-time equivalent employees or less at time of application

** Must have less than $5 million in gross annual revenue per most recent federal tax return

** Must be registered to do business in the state and in operation since at least Jan. 1, 2020

** Must be in good standing with local, state and federal jurisdictions as far as taxes, fee, utility payment and other financial obligations

Organizations that are in pending bankruptcy proceedings or will file for bankruptcy protections within six months of application date are not eligible.

The application deadline is 4 p.m. on May 31. Eligible brick-and-mortar businesses can apply for a one-time grant up to $25,000 to reimburse for pandemic-related expenses. Eligible at-home businesses can apply for up to $10,000.

The grants are for expenses incurred on or after March 3, 2021. The date is per federal ARPA rules for use of the money, Clarey said.

The grant limits were set locally.

“We did a lot of research on other programs throughout the country. Our limit is comparatively on the high end of those examples,” Clarey said. “But the commissioners have been very dedicated and adamant that we find ways to use ARPA to support small business, so we felt this amount is appropriate.”

The levels were also based on the limits that were set for the county’s grant program that utilized CARES Act funding in late 2020 and early 2021.

“We believe this level of support will make an impact while balancing that with ensuring there are enough funds available to the most amount of businesses,” Clarey said.

The county likely will offer more ARPA relief funds to business down the road, said Commissioner Wade Westfall. Creation of a revolving loan program using some of the money has been under discussion.

Also in the works is a second grant program geared toward capital expenditures related to COVID.

“While COVID has been a challenge for all businesses, some companies are now in growth-mode, so we want to ensure our funding supports those projects as well,” Clarey said.

Contact this contributing writer at nancykburr@aol.com

About the Author