Coronavirus: Denied Montgomery County small business grant? Change made to policy

County commissioners alter eligibility requirements for second time so more can apply.

Small businesses that were denied a coronavirus relief grant from Montgomery County and ones that didn’t apply because they received other federal CARES Act assistance may be back in line for the $10,000 grants.

Montgomery County commissioners on Tuesday removed a requirement that prevented small businesses from applying that had previously received other federal CARES Act assistance, including Paycheck Protection Program loans.

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Many more small businesses will now be eligible for the grants, said Marvene Mitchell-Cook, Montgomery County Office of CARES Act director.

“I think we will have an increase of about 30% of businesses that we did deny,” she said. “A lot of them have already had PPP and SBA loans. And now this will give them an opportunity to apply for the grants.”

Businesses with applications already in will not need to reapply, according to the county’s Office of CARES Act.

This is the second time commissioners have relaxed requirements to allow more small businesses to apply for the program.

Commissioners earlier changed the eligibility rules to allow businesses with 50 or fewer employees and annual receipts below $5 million to apply. Before that, the county’s program to distribute $40 million in CARES Act funding was limited to businesses with fewer than 30 employees and less than $1 million in annual revenue.

To qualify for a grant, the business must also meet the following criteria:

  • Be locally owned and located in Montgomery County
  • Have a physical storefront and/or be an allowable home office as reported in the most recent filed tax return
  • Be current on all state, federal and local taxes
  • Be in compliance with state small business requirements
  • Retain one full-time employee for at least three months after the grant award

At least 16 small business have been awarded the $10,000 grants from the program launched in June. As of last week, 333 small businesses had applied, according to the county.

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Montgomery County received an initial allotment of $92.77 million in funds that could reach more than $200 million. The money is also being used on programs aimed at supporting education, nonprofits, agriculture and health care industries, as well as to provide housing assistance to individuals and families.

Last week, the county launched the programs to help people with rent, mortgage and utility payments.

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Grants of up to $10,000 to support housing payments are available to eligible residents who experienced a loss of income after March 1, 2020 due to the pandemic. The loss of income could have been caused by a layoff, reduced work hours, furlough or reduction in pay, according to the county.

In addition to the $10 million housing program, commissioners have also approved a program for eligible nonprofits to receive grants up to $100,000 and another to offer grants up to $1 million to qualifying educational institutions. The county has not announced the start date of those programs.

Applications for the small business and housing programs are available at

The Montgomery County Office of CARES Act housing programs

Eligibility for each housing program requires a loss of employment income after March 1 due to COVID-19. The loss of income could have been caused by a layoff, reduced work hours, furlough or reduction in pay.

Mortgage Assistance Program

The HomeOwnership Center, a program of County Corp, is administering the Mortgage Assistance Program, which can help residents bring mortgage payments current.

Montgomery County residents may qualify for mortgage relief if you:

- Own a home in Montgomery County with an original mortgage of $200,000 or less.

- Are behind on mortgage on or after March 1.

Applicants will be required to complete an application, provide required documentation, and discuss the circumstances with HomeOwnership Center staff as well as participate in follow-up with HomeOwnership Center staff about financial and mortgage status.

Apply for the Mortgage Assistance Program at

Rental Assistance Program

Miami Valley Community Action Partnership is administering the Rental Assistance Program, which can help people catch up on rental payments.

Renters may qualify for relief if you:

- Rent your residence in Montgomery County.

- Fell behind on rent on or after March 1, 2020.

- Complete the application available on Miami Valley CAP’s website. An intake specialist will follow-up on applications and ask for additional documentation.

Apply for the Rental Assistance Program at

Utility Assistance Program

Residents may also qualify for financial assistance with gas, electric, or bulk fuel utility payments due to loss of income caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Apply for the Utility Assistance Program at

Residents can also sign up at for email alerts about the programs, including upcoming financial aid programs for agriculture, education, nonprofits or healthcare institutions.

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