WAYNE COUNTY, OH, Oct. 2, 2020 — The Wayne County Commissioners have, once again, decided to support local small businesses by dedicating another $400,000 in a third round of Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Securities (CARES) Act grant funding to local businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic by further reducing the restrictions involved in applying for a Wayne County Small Business Relief Program grant.
Rounds one and two of the grant program have been successful, with local small businesses receiving more than $300 thousand in non-repayable grants.
"We are pleased to have been able to assist more than 60 businesses in the first two rounds and are hopeful that the lessening of restrictions opens the door to help even more small businesses," Commissioner Sue Smail said. "It should be noted that agricultural businesses are also eligible to apply."
As with previous funding rounds, the Wayne County Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) is overseeing the program. Applications for the grant may be submitted online at www.waynecountyedc.com.
According to Kelly Haer, WEDC's director of business retention and expansion, businesses that may not have qualified previously should re-examine the criteria.
"The goal is to serve as many organizations as we can," Haer said. "The major reductions in criteria for the grant include the number of employees a business can have and their annual revenue."
Applications for the grant are being accepted through October 16, 2020, and each business may receive up to $5,000.
CRITERIA FOR SMALL BUSINESS GRANT
- Must be an ongoing business and have a physical address in Wayne County (grant funding is to be used for that location)
- Must have 50 or fewer employees and have been in business for a year
- Must be a for-profit entity
- Must have a Federal Taxpayer Identification Number
- Must have experienced a decrease in gross revenue/receipts of 35% or more due to COVID-19 when comparing March 1 – May 31, 2020, to March 1 – May 31, 2019
- Must have less than $2 million in gross revenue/receipts on an annual basis
- Must be able to attest that it complies with federal, state, or county and local regulations and not delinquent in any taxes
- Must be able to attest that it is not currently in bankruptcy
- INELIGIBLE SMALL BUSINESSES
- Adult entertainment establishment
- Bank, savings and loan or credit union
- E-commerce only company
- Liquor/wine store
- Vaping store
- Tobacco store
- Cannabis dispensary
- Franchised business not locally owned and independently operated
- Grant funds provided by Wayne County's Small Business Relief Program can only be used to pay the expenses of the business related to the costs of business interruption or required closure caused by the pandemic up to a maximum of $5,000. Eligible expenses include, but are not limited to:
- Mortgage Costs. Mortgage costs for businesses that are located in or operated out of a personal residence are not an eligible expense
- Rent or Lease Costs. Rent or lease costs for businesses located in or operated out of a personal residence are not an eligible expense.
- Expenses for utilities, such as electric, gas, sewer, water, trash removal. Utility costs for businesses located in or operated out of personal residence are not an eligible expense.
- Salaries, wages, or compensation paid to employees or 1099 workers.
- Materials and supplies related to the interruption of the business caused by required closures.
- Personal Protective Equipment or other COVID-19 related costs such as expenses related to compliance with Responsible Restart Ohio.
Sole proprietors can use grant funding as income replacement by providing documentation on lost revenue from March 1 through May 31, 2020, due to COVID-19 so long as no unemployment benefits are being received or are expected to be received by the Applicant. If not already submitted, upload the most recent filed Schedule C – Profit or Loss from Business (Sole Proprietorship)
Grant funds can be used to reimburse eligible expenses incurred from March 1, 2020. The business shall submit an itemized list of all expenditures along with all supporting documentation. Documentation shall be in the form of paid invoices and canceled checks, bank statements, or similar document showing payment of Eligible Expenses. If the business cannot properly substantiate its eligible expenses, it will be considered non-eligible for the Small Business Grant.
- Cost of vehicle or equipment leased or purchased after March 23, 2020, except if the purchase of equipment is to comply with Restart Ohio.
- Personal non-business expenses of the business or its owner(s)
- Construction costs
- Any tax, license, or fee obligations payable to any governmental entity
- Application - A business interested in participating in the program must fill out the application to determine if it meets all of the eligibility criteria set forth above.
- Funds Available - Third round grants will be funded using a lottery method until all funds have been expended.
- Payment and Signed Agreement - If approved for a grant, the business must sign and return the Grant Agreement within ten calendar days of receipt and provide a W-9 for grant fund payment.
Listen to the WQKT Radio ad by Commissioner Sue Smail HERE.
By Dan Starcher, public communications specialist for the Wayne County government.