The deadline for multiple state grant applications is quickly approaching.

Funds appropriated by the state government through the federal CARES Act are available to local businesses and homeowners with the goal of lessening the blow the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has dealt.

The Small Business Relief Grant allocates $10,000 to 50 businesses per county as long as certain requirements are met. Those include being a for-profit entity, having anywhere from 1 to 25 employees as of the start of this year, and the business must physically be in the state and make 90 percent of its profits here. The business also must have been in operation since January 1, 2020 with exceptions being made for closures due to the pandemic and have been impacted to the point that without the grant, recovery may not be possible,

Funds from this grant can be used to reimburse wages for employees, purchases of personal protection equipment, utility payments, rent or mortgage dues, and other equipment needed to keep the business going. If applications are not received from the county by Monday Nov. 23, funds will be reallocated to counties with a higher need. Applications can be submitted here.

According to Vinton County Jobs and Family Services, 33 local businesses have applied meaning there are 17 left up for grabs. Jackson County has had at least 50 applications sent in but as of now, those funds have not been allocated. For any businesses that apply after the initial $500,000 per county is spent, they could still get funds on a first come, first serve basis from those not used by other counties. 

Another grant available is specifically designed to serve the bars and restaurants that have felt the sting of COVID. The Bar and Restaurant Assistance Grant gives $2,500 per business location to those establishments that hold any of 29 different classifications of liquor licensure. A full list of those applicable licenses can be found here. Businesses are required to have had an active license as of Oct. 23, 2020 even if they are not currently open. Funds for this grant will not be distributed after Dec. 31 of this year and it is recommended that eligible businesses apply by Dec. 18 to ensure funds are received. Funds are to be used for expenses related to the pandemic. Applications can be filed here with the businesses OHID account. If one doesn't already exist, it can be created at the same link. 

For those in the county who are in need of help in regards to their home costs, the Home Relief Grant is a great option. Funds can be used to pay late rent or mortgage payments as well as utility bills from as far back as April 1 of this year. Assistance can continue through Dec. 30. Eligible households must be at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty line and applications can be submitted through the local Community Action Agency.

Vinton and Jackson County’s branch can be contacted here.

Twitter: @amhulvalchick


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