GALION — The Crawford County Commissioners have made $1.2 million in COVID-19 relief funding available for small businesses and non-profits in the county.
The commissioners on Tuesday signed agreements with both the Galion-Crestline Area Chamber of Commerce and Bucyrus Area Chamber of Commerce providing $400,000 to each agency to administer and distribute funding through the Small Business Relief Grant Program. Commissioners also signed an agreement providing $400,000 to The Community Foundation for Crawford County that will provide grants to non-profit entities.
The funding was made available through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act that was signed into law by President Donald Trump on March 27, 2020.
Commissioner Doug Weisenauer said the county had CARES Act funding left over after paying for expenses related to the pandemic and decided to provide the money to the local agencies rather than have to give it back to the state. He said the funds must be distributed by Dec. 31. He noted that the program is open to all eligible businesses and not just members of either chamber.
Miranda Jones, executive director of the Galion-Crestline Area Chamber of Commerce, said the $400,000 will be used to fund grants for eligible small businesses and an additional $20,000 will be utilized to cover administrative costs of operating the program.
“The maximum amount that we will allow (business owners) to apply for is going to be $10,000,” Jones said. “The application will be available starting Monday (Dec. 7) on both chambers’ webpages. Business owners will have until Dec. 17 to apply to the program.”
Jones noted that the “first priority” of the program will be to “help our sole proprietors and businesses who did not already receive CARES Act funds through the State of Ohio’s Small Business Relief Grant.”
“We really wanted to make sure that our sole proprietors were taken care of,” Jones said. “A lot of these owner-operator businesses that we have in our downtown areas in Bucyrus and Crestline and Uptowne Galion, it’s mom working at the store and her $50 sale goes to pay the rent. And that’s who we’re looking to take care of with this. Obviously, if we’re doing a scoring system, they would score No. 1. The second priority is any business that was unable to receive CARES Act money through the State of Ohio Small Business Relief Grant that they just had in November.”
Jones said businesses that are not eligible for the program include adult entertainment establishments, banks, savings and loans, credit unions, franchise businesses that are not locally owned, civic clubs and service organizations, places of worship, and other non-profit entities. As mentioned, however, non-profits can apply for grants through The Community Foundation for Crawford County.
Applications and guidelines for the program will be posted on both chamber websites galion-crestlinechamber.org and bucyrusohio.com.
Contact Miranda Jones at the Galion-Crestline Area Chamber of Commerce at 519-468-7737 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact Jessie Furner at the Bucyrus Area Chamber of Commerce at 419-562-4811 or email email@example.com.
Follow @AndrewACCarter on Twitter.