Grants available for small businesses in Belmont County
The Belmont County Commissioners Office is rolling out the Belmont County Small Business Relief Program to help small businesses in the county affected by the statewide shutdown of non-essential businesses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The program is set to help small businesses throughout the county with 30 or less employees and who have less than $1 million in gross revenue annually.
Businesses who are eligible must have been in business since January 2019.
Businesses do not have to be headquartered in Belmont County, but must have a location within the county to qualify.
"This is a directive to help them (small business owners) with any losses they may have experienced from March through the end of May," Belmont County Commissioner J.P. Dutton said. "Now it's federal funds so businesses that were already part the PPP (Paycheck Protection Program) or another federal program aren't eligible because of federal requirements."
According to Dutton, this is so different sources of federal funding aren't being provided to the same business entity.
He said his office has heard there are businesses in the county who have not received PPP funding.
The Small Business Relief Program is one of the programs created that uses CARES Act dollars.
The program provides direct grants which are not required to be paid back to small businesses to help them recover from being closed during the shut-down, Dutton said.
Grants issued can be up to $10,000 with a wide range of terms in which the business can use the funds for.
The list of eligible expenses, according to Dutton can be found in the information/application packet and is pretty broad.
When asked how much funding was set aside for the program, Dutton responded that the amount was up in the air at this point.
"We have a set amount of money set aside for the program, but we are very optimistic that we are going to be able to add some additional CARES Act dollars to that amount, whether it's another round or just funding additional businesses," Dutton said. "So it's very much something that is going to be reevaluated here in a few weeks because we believe some other CARES Act dollars are going to be made available for this program."
Dutton said there were several other county entities that are involved with the discussions regarding the program.
"The Belmont County Board of Commissioners and the Belmont County Auditor Anthony Rocchio are the ones that created this program or at least spearheaded this program," Dutton said. "But, now we are joined in doing outreach and stuff with several other organizations: Belmont County Port Authority, Belmont County Community Improvement Corporation (CIC), Belmont County Tourism Council, and about five Chambers of Commerce in Belmont County including Barnesville.
Additional information on and applications for the Belmont County Small Business Relief Program can be found on the county commissioners website at www.belmontcountycommissioners.org or at the Belmont County Auditors website at www.belmontcountyauditor.org.
Questions about the program can be emailed to Rocchio at email@example.com.