Coronavirus: Programs totaling $20M will aid area schools, nonprofits

Montgomery County plans to announce two new coronavirus relief programs on Thursday that will put $20 million toward helping educational institutions and nonprofits. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF
Montgomery County plans to announce two new coronavirus relief programs on Thursday that will put $20 million toward helping educational institutions and nonprofits. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF

Two new programs will relieve some of the financial pressure on Montgomery County schools and nonprofits impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, county commissioners said Thursday when announcing the $20 million in aid.

Grants of up to $3 million will be offered to eligible public and private school districts, charter schools and preschools from a $10 million pool set aside from $92.77 million in CARES Act funding the county received from the U.S. Treasury. Another $10 million will fund grants of up to $100,000 to aid county non-profit organizations.

“Our schools are faced with many challenges from this terrible pandemic,” said Montgomery County Commission President Judy Dodge. “Education is so vital to the growth of our community. These funds will help our local institutions deal with the costs of these changes as they find ways to safely teach our county’s young people.”

Educational institutions may spend the funds on mortgage or rent, utilities, costs related to nutritional programs, personal protective equipment and technology, according to the program outline.

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Nonprofits may use the funds for expenses to provide services to individuals affected by the pandemic. Expenses allowed with these grants include mortgage or rent, utilities and costs related to food insecurities, public health, personal protective equipment, technology and other services.

The pandemic has increased the demand for a host of social services often provided by charitable and philanthropic groups including emergency food and shelter and mental and behavioral health services, said Montgomery County Commissioner Debbie Lieberman.

“Local non-profit organizations in our community are seeing a huge surge in demand for services as thousands of people right here in our county have lost their income, lost their employment as a result of the pandemic,” she said.

Montgomery County Administrator Michael Colbert said the county’s 80,000 food assistance cases is up 11,000 since the start of the pandemic and the Medicaid caseload currently numbers about 150,000, up 17,000 cases since March.

The new educational grant program will help plug some technology gaps for area students as many will start the new academic year online, Colbert said.

“Our goal is to continue to expand the distance learning tools,” he said. “We’ve heard from parents that they have not enough computers in the household for the number of youth that they have. So we have an opportunity now to expand the WiFi bandwidth ...and to also expand our tools like Chromebooks for parents and students.”

Lieberman said arts and cultural organizations that improve the region’s quality of life and help drive economic development have taken a hard financial hit due to canceled events and performances.

“We know we must support the arts if we want to remain competitive in the future,” she said. “Because of the arts in our community .... we’re able to retain top talent and bring top talent to our region.”

Both grants can be used to cover expenses incurred or anticipated between March 1 and Dec. 31. They will be available until Nov. 30 or until funding is depleted.

The county has already put in place programs to assist small business and to help households and individuals with mortgage, rent and utilities payments.

The HomeOwnership Center, which is administering the mortgage assistance program, had received 160 applications as of Thursday. So far, 12 grants have been approved averaging $4,510, according to the county.

As of Wednesday, small business program had 737 applicants with 200 approved and $1,470,000 distributed, according to the county.

More details about the education and nonprofit grants are below.Information about all the grants and applications can be found at www.mcohiocares.org.

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Education Program grants

Eligibility requirements include:

  • Must be licensed by the Ohio Department of Education
  • Must serve/benefit students living in Montgomery County
  • Must be physically located in Montgomery County

Institutions must provide the following documents:

  • A copy of the school charter
  • Most recent audit report
  • 2018 tax form 990, return of organization exempt from tax (if applicable)
  • List of current board members
  • Form W-3 transmittal of wage and tax statements (if applicable)
  • Form 1096 annual summary and transmittal of U.S. information returns (if applicable)
  • Proof of actual operating expenditures from January through June 2020
  • Projected budget expenditures for operations from June 1, 2020 through Dec. 31, 2020
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Nonprofit Program grants

Nonprofits organized under sections 501(c)(3), 501(c)(4) or 501(c)(6) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code can apply. Organizations under those sections that have served individuals affected by COVID-19 are encouraged to apply.

Eligibility requirements include:

  • Proposed program services will benefit individuals living in Montgomery County
  • Organization must be physically located in Montgomery County
  • Organization must be able to provide financial records to support the grant request and program validation
  • Must be able to reconcile, monitor, and report the use of federal funds
  • Must be able to track and report the number of clients served and provide demographic information

Organizations must provide the following documents:

  • Copy of current Ohio Secretary of State certificate of good standing
  • 2018 tax form 990 return of organization exempt from income tax
  • List of current board members
  • Form W-3 transmittal of wage and tax statements (if applicable)
  • Form 1096 annual summary and transmittal of U.S. information returns (if applicable)
  • Proof of actual operating expenditures from January through March 2020
  • Projected budget expenditures for operations from June 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020

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