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Grant Money Available to Small Businesses Impacted by COVID-19

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WAYNE COUNTY, OHIO, July 24, 2020 — The Wayne County Commissioners announced today that they would dedicate $500,000 from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Securities Act (CARES) money received by the county to area small businesses in the form of grants.

“We are pleased to be able to make these funds available to small businesses who have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Wayne County Commissioners Becky Foster, Sue Smail, and Ron Amstutz said in a joint statement. “The program will be managed and administered by the Wayne Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) as appropriated by the commissioners, and we are very grateful for their assistance.”

The CARES Act was signed into law earlier this year.

“The commissioners do not want too many restrictions placed on the money,” said Tom Pukys, President of the WEDC. “The important thing is that this money from the county gets into the hands of area businesses that haven’t received any economic assistance due to the shutdown and the ongoing pandemic.”

Applications for the grant may be submitted online at www.waynecountyedc.com.

“There is a list of eligible expenses, but that list is pretty liberal,” Pukys continued. “It is a grant, not a forgivable loan, and it doesn’t need to be paid back.”

Many area small businesses have expressed a need for financial assistance because of the pandemic.

According to Pukys, employers had to cut expenses and layoff their employees during a time of reduced revenue and sales.

“They also incurred expenses implementing safety and sanitation initiatives like putting up shields and purchasing masks,” he said. “These are unbudgeted expenses they experienced.”

Business owners may apply for a maximum of $5,000.



1. Must have a physical address in Wayne County, and grant funding is to be used for that location.

2. Have 25 or fewer employees.

3. Must be a for-profit entity.

4. Must have a Federal Taxpayer Identification Number.

5. 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.

6. Must have less than $1million in gross revenue/receipts on an annual basis

7. Must not have received or been approved for other federal assistance for lost revenue or expenses arising from the pandemic, including Paycheck Protection Program, Emergency Disaster Loan.

8. Must be able to attest that it complies with federal, state, or county and local regulations and not delinquent in any taxes.

9. Must be able to attest that it is not currently in bankruptcy.



1. Adult entertainment establishment.

2. Bank, savings, and loan or credit union.

3. E-commerce only company.

4. Liquor/wine store.

5. Vaping store.

6. Tobacco store.

7. Cannabis dispensary.

8. 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 that required closure caused by the pandemic.



1. Mortgage Costs. Mortgage costs for businesses located in or operated out of a personal residence are not an eligible expense.

2. Rent or Lease Costs. Rent or lease costs for businesses located in or operated out of a personal residence are not an eligible expense.

3. 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.

4. Salaries, wages, or compensation paid to employees or 1099 workers.

5. Materials and supplies related to the interruption of the business caused by required closures.

6. Personal Protective Equipment or other COVID-19 related costs such as expenses related to compliance with Responsible Restart Ohio.

7. 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).



1. Cost of vehicle or equipment leased or purchased after March 23, 2020, except if the purchase of equipment is to comply with Restart Ohio.

2. Personal non-business expenses of the business or its owner(s)

3. Construction costs.

4. Any tax, license, or fee obligations payable to any governmental entity.



1. Application -- A business that is interested in participating in the program must fill out the form to determine if it meets all of the eligibility criteria set forth above. The deadline for application submission is August 10, 2020.

2. Funds Available -- Grants are funded on a first-come, first-served basis until all available funds have been allocated. The date used for this determination will be the date and time the application is received by the Wayne Economic Development Council.

3. Payment and Signed Agreement -- If approved for a grant, the business must sign and return the Grant Agreement within ten (10) calendar days of receipt and provide its bank routing number for grant fund payment.


Posted by Dan Starcher, public communications specialist for the Wayne County government.