More small businesses in Greene County can get $500K in coronavirus relief

Greene County has allocated a half million dollars more in coronavirus relief for small businesses and lifted restrictions for applying for the county’s small business coronavirus aide grant.

County commissioners approved a request for an additional $500,000 in small business grants, bringing the total the county has put towards relief for small businesses to $1 million.

Commissioners also approved the change in what makes a business eligible for funding. Before this change, businesses that have gotten federal or local assistance, like Small Business Association loans or grants from a local jurisdiction, were not able to apply for the county’s small business grant.

“It was always part of our internal strategy to remove this restriction,” said Eric Henry, director of development for Greene County. “Our department has received overwhelmingly positive feedback about this program from Greene County business owners and this new guidance will allow us to help even more people as we head into the holiday season.”

The program was created using the money from the federal CARES Act program. Greene County got $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, the county said.

Commissioners approved the additional $500,000 because funds had run out and 31 more businesses have applied for funding, said Greene County Administrator Brandon Huddleson. Those businesses will have about $500,000 available to them, Huddleson said.

ExploreMore Greene County businesses now eligible for relief grants

Since the program started accepting applications Aug. 1, the county has awarded grants to nearly 70 Greene County businesses.

One of those businesses is the Flower Stop in Xenia. Owner Heidi Hilderbrandt said her business got the grant in mid-September.

“It took a little bit of my worry away,” Hilderbrandt said. “It definitely did help compensate for lost income. We had no weddings, no prom, no big events back when everything first shut down. Florists across the country are having a hard time right now.”

Hilderbrandt said she used the grant to help pay overhead expenses, like her rent. The Flower Stop didn’t receive any other aide or grants, aside from the building owner waiving one month of rent, she said.

“I am just so appreciative for the resources that allowed the county to help local businesses,” Hilderbrandt said.

Miami Twp., Sugarcreek Twp. and Xenia Twp. all have also pledged additional funds to the county to be dedicated towards a small business in each of those communities.

Businesses can apply to be reimbursed for up to $10,000 in coronavirus-related costs, like sanitizing or personal protective equipment. Businesses must also have 50 of fewer employees, be a for-profit entity, have a physical storefront and be current on all federal, state and local taxes. Adult entertainment establishments, banks or credit unions, non-profits and dispensaries are not eligible for the small business grants.

Applications for this program will be accepted until funds are depleted or until Oct. 30.

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