Hamilton County ready for another round of small business grants, officials say

Posted at 6:12 AM, Aug 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-05 08:01:16-04

The previous round of small business grants in Hamilton County was about $1.8 million, but some small business owners and county officials said businesses are ready for another injection of cash.

"We know the need is still out there, and we're hearing that from small business owners," Hamilton County Commissioner Denise Driehaus said. "Clearly we need to try to capture more..."

Money for the previous, and upcoming, grant was provided through the federal CARES Act, and it went to helping businesses like Kimberly Stewart's Arabesque Dance Academy.

Related: Small business grants help small, local businesses shoulder COVID-19 burden

Before the grant, Stewart said, her plan was to get another job to make sure her studio stayed open.

"My plan was I went out and I got a second job," Stewart said. "I was delivering groceries and pulling groceries at the grocery store, just in case I didn't have income through my studio."

Then, once her business' grant money went through, Stewart spent the money on PPE for her students, as well as creating more space so her students can socially distance and hiring more teachers.

"It was great for the county to be able to provide something that we were eligible for and that could help us stay open," Stewart said.

But Driehaus knows the last round of grants took some time to reach people like Stewart.

"We're trying to streamline the process. Make it a little easier for the business owners, frankly," Driehaus said.

The second round of grant applications will be available to business owners in about two weeks. Small businesses can receive up to $10,000 on the upcoming grant.