By Bridget Doherty
Hamilton County, Ohio (August 18, 2020) Small Businesses in Hamilton County have a second chance to apply for funding through the Hamilton County CARES Small Business Relief Program. Starting Monday, small businesses can apply for grants up to $10,000 to help offset the losses experienced during the COVID-19 crisis. Applications will be accepted on the County’s website (https://www.hamiltoncountyohio.gov/sbrelief) from Monday, August 24 at 12 noon until Friday, September 4 at 12 noon.
Round two has been expanded and improved to help more small businesses while requiring less paperwork. The second round nearly triples the first round with over $5 million in CARES Act dollars to be awarded. Expanded eligibility requirements include:
Businesses received or approved for $20,000 or less in federal assistance such as Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) or Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)-first round excluded all federal assistance,
Businesses can now have less than $2 Million in gross annual revenue (an increase from $1 million in the first round),
Businesses no longer have to show a 35% loss when comparing 2019 to 2020. They can simply fall into the category of being required to close by the State or show a 15% decline because of COVID-19.
Commissioners also expanded eligible uses for the grant funds to include reimbursement for expenses incurred from March 15, 2020 to December 1, 2020. Additional eligibility requirements can be found on the County’s website along with eligible expenses.
Through a partnership with HCDC Inc., the County’s Economic Development Office, applications will be evaluated based on the stated criteria. If the need exceeds the available funding, the County will conduct two lotteries based on business size- Lottery A is for 0-10 employees, Lottery B is for 11-50 employees.
In the first round of funding, Hamilton County awarded $1.7 Million to nearly 220 small businesses in the county. Based on self-reporting in the applications, 43% of businesses funded were owned by minorities, 48% of businesses funded were owned by women, and 32% of businesses funded were both minority and woman-owned.