Chamber reviewing small business grant applications


By Andrew Carter - acarter@aimmediamidwest.com



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GALION — The Galion-Crestline Area Chamber of Commerce has started reviewing applications for its small business relief grant program.

The Chamber received a flood of grant applications — 61 in total — within a two-week period, forcing the agency to close the application window and begin sorting through the businesses that are seeking assistance. The City of Galion provided $200,000 in CARES Act money to fund the program, which is designed to help businesses that have been adversely affected during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We got what we considered our last application in on (Aug. 16),” Chamber Executive Director Miranda Jones said. “We’re very excited. That first day (of the application period) was crazy and we knew it would be because we made sure that the application was available the Friday before (July 30) on our website before we started accepting them in office (on Monday, Aug. 2). That way people had the weekend to gather their documents and talk to their accountants or just work on it outside the busy day of a work week.”

Jones said Chamber officials were pleased with the number of applicants and the quick response to the program.

“We were thrilled with the number we got in and the applications we have,” she said. “Now we’re just kind of in a waiting period. We can look at the applicants that we have and make sure they are eligible and make sure all of them know they area approved. Then by the end of August, first week of September, we can start writing those checks and setting up appointment times for people to come in and pick those up.”

The Chamber Board of Directors will make the final decision in the application review process, Jones said.

Jones noted that numerous local businesses were still struggling at the outset of 2021 and have continued to struggle into the middle of the year.

“We acknowledge that everybody had hardships during 2020 and even through this first part of 2021,” Jones said. “It wasn’t a shock to me that we had so many applicants on the first day and that we were able to fill that in the first two weeks of the application period. If it’s just that little bump that can help them get through the rest of 2021, we are glad to be part of that. We appreciate the City of Galion for having the forward thinking to use the CARES Act money to help our local businesses.”

Jones said the maximum amount of funding that will be awarded to a business through the current program is $5,000.

In December 2020, the Galion-Crestline and Bucyrus chambers doled out a total of $800,000 in CARES Act funds provided by the Crawford County Commissioners. A total of 177 businesses in Crawford County received funding through that program.

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By Andrew Carter

acarter@aimmediamidwest.com

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