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More pandemic recovery grants available for small businesses in Franklin County

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Central Ohio officials have announced another $8 million available through the Columbus-Franklin County Small Business Recovery Fund to help area small businesses continue navigating the COVID-19 pandemic. Funding will be prioritized for businesses located in underserved communities and owned by minorities, women or veterans. Franklin County Administrator Kenneth Wilson.

"We did that for a reason because the vast majority of these businesses never received adequate help during the pandemic," Franklin County Administrator Kenneth Wilson said. "For example, the federal government offered a Paycheck Protection Program in 2020. However only three percent of the $3 trillion awarded to Ohio businesses went to assist minority-owned businesses. Unfortunately these statistics did not improve as the pandemic raged through 2021."

Businesses may apply for one of three grants:

· $5,000 recovery grants for self-employed, single entity, sole proprietors and sole owner LLCs

· $10,000 recovery grants for small businesses with at least one full-time employee

· $20,000 job restoration grants for businesses with at least one full-time employee that lost employees due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses will receive an initial $10,000 recovery grant and will be eligible to receive an additional $10,000 for hiring an additional full-time employee within two months and maintaining their payroll for four months after receiving initial grant funding.

A similar Franklin County $2.2 million grant program offered in 2020 made a difference for Jerzell Pierre-Louis, Owner of Sprout Early Education Center and Bloom Early Education Center.

"The Small Business Recovery Grant for us was life changing," Pierre-Louis said. "We were able to have PPE for our staff and our children and pay our employees for extended hours. But more than anything, we didn't have to lay anyone off."

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, with the first deadline coming up March 18.

Business owners can apply at the link below:

The Columbus-Franklin County Small Business Recovery Fund

Mike Foley joined WCBE in February 2000, coming from WUFT in Gainesville, Florida. He earned Broadcasting and Journalism degrees from the University of Florida.