The City of Powell is rallying to help small businesses in the community with the creation of a grant program aimed towards providing relief during the ongoing pandemic.
Applications are now being accepted by the city’s Community Improvement Corporation (CIC) for upwards of $10,000 in grant relief for pandemic-related expenses.
Under the program, $200,000 of CARES Act funding will be dedicated to small business relief. Businesses must be located within the city’s jurisdiction and have 25 or fewer employees in order to be eligible for a grant. Expenses that classify as resulting from the pandemic can include missed rent or mortgage payments during the forced shutdown from March 23 to May 15, the purchasing of Personal Protective Equipment, materials to ensure social distancing is upheld, and equipment to extend outdoor seating.
“The Small Business Grant Program is part of our promise to walk alongside our small business community through adversity and provide the support and resources they need,” a press release for the program states.
Grants will be awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis, meaning businesses are encouraged to apply early in order to hit the window. Applications must be received by Sunday, Dec. 6.
“Powell’s small businesses have always been at the heart of our community. Now more than ever, they need our help,” said City Manager Andrew White in the press release. “The Small Business Grant Program is part of the City of Powell’s promise to stand together with local businesses and give them the support and resources they need.”
White told The Gazette the delay in getting the program started was a matter of figuring out how much money the city would have to offer, and how that money could and should be allocated when it became available.
“We spent quite a long time figuring out how to get the money from the city to the businesses,” White said. “Under the first guidance that we had, it was really restrictive and it was difficult to go through the due process with the city. Working with the CIC kind of relieves some of that.”
White said that after receiving updated guidance that allowed the city to receive monies to reimburse their own pandemic-related expenses, including salaries for safety services, “that made it much easier to go and request the entire amount of funds available.”
He added, “Hopefully, we’re going to see 20 applications get approved in the next couple of weeks for the $10,000 installments so we can get that first wave (done).”
Should there be a considerable response to the program, White said the city may look into another round of grants. If the response is less than is expected, he said the city will take a look at what it needs to do differently in order to get the money out into the community.
To access the application form, visit www.cityofpowell.us/businesses/small-business-grant-program-application.