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Hamilton County rolls out second round of grants for small businesses

Application window is Aug. 24 - Sept. 4
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Posted at 11:45 AM, Aug 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-24 11:21:51-04

HAMILTON COUNTY, Ohio — Small businesses that are eligible can receive a $10,000 grant from the county to offset financial loss caused by the pandemic.

Starting Monday, small businesses can apply for a grant via the Hamilton County CARES Small Business Relief Program.

County commissioners set aside $5 million of its $142 million CARES Act funding for the second round of the grant program. In May, the county distributed over $1.7 million in grants to 220 businesses in nearly every city, village and township in the county, Commissioner Denise Driehaus said.

Of the businesses that received grants in the first round, 43% were minority owned, 49% were owned by women and 32% were both minority and women owned, according to Driehaus.

Joe Brinkman, owner of Queen City Running Club, said he will be applying for a grant.

Brinkman said his business was affected when the Queen Bee and Flying Pig Marathon were canceled because of the pandemic.

“I think it’s a great program, and it’s a great idea just to help these little individual businesses that could use a little bit of economic support at this time,” Brinkman said.

The business must meet certain requirements to be eligible for the loan; businesses must have fewer than 50 employees and must have less than $2 million in gross revenue/receipts on an annual basis, among other requirements. Businesses that received funding through the first round of grants are not eligible.

Some eligible expenses include rent, lease or mortgage costs, utilities, salaries, personal protective equipment and other COVID-19 costs.

Driehaus said officials will use a lottery system to distribute grants if the dollars available do not match the assistance needed. Lottery A would be for businesses with up to 10 employees, and lottery B would encompass businesses with 11-50 employees.

Business owners can submit an application at noon on Monday. Applications close at noon on Sept. 4.

Business owners who have questions regarding the program can email SBRelief@hamilton-co.org.