Miami County to award $740K in ARPA money to businesses Thursday

People walk through downtown Troy's business area during the Strawberry Jam in June 2021. TOM GILLIAM / CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER

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People walk through downtown Troy's business area during the Strawberry Jam in June 2021. TOM GILLIAM / CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER

Nonprofit groups will be next to get grants from county’s federal allocation.

Miami County commissioners said they will award more than $740,000 in grants from the county’s American Rescue Plan Act funds to local businesses this Thursday.

An outline of the ARPA applications and proposed breakdown of grants was presented last Thursday to commissioners.

The commissioners earlier this year said they would commit up to $750,000 in the ARPA COVID-19 recovery funds for small businesses negatively impacted by the pandemic. A $25,000 limit per business was set for brick-and-mortar businesses and $10,000 for at-home businesses.

The county this year received $10 million in ARPA funds and is scheduled to receive another $10 million.

The commissioners also authorized a grant program for nonprofit organizations. They are scheduled to hear a proposal for distribution of those grants this week.

The grant application and review programs were put in the hands of the Department of Development staff.

Michael Clarey, county development services manager, outlined the application review process, including a check of each application by a five-member subcommittee.

Requests submitted totaled $976,898 with $741,774 in grants to 39 applicants recommended.

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 main criteria for grants was revenue and workforce loss with expenses eligible including rent, utilities, operating costs and payroll. Various documents, including tax returns and payroll information, were reviewed to verify requests.

In the end, five applicants were recommended for amounts less than what they sought, based on documentation seen. For those who previously were awarded money through the CARES Act program, the CARES Act amount was deducted from the grant award they would be eligible to receive.

Five requests were not funded.

“I think you did a good job, and trust that your committee did we what asked you to do. We appreciate it,” Commissioner Greg Simmons said.

“I think it meets the theme of what we were trying to do with some of these rescue funds, to give back to our community to some of the people impacted by the pandemic and economic challenging times,” said Commission President Ted Mercer.

Charlotte Colley, county administrator, thanked Clarey and the committee for “countless” hours of time talking to applicants, vetting applications and working to give all who qualified some if not all of the funding they requested.

The commissioners said they have not decided if there will be another round of small business grants with the county’s second year of ARPA money.

Contact this contributing writer at nancykburr@aol.com

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