Lance Lippincott, county Economic and Workforce Development Director, submitted a request to the board for $500,000 in grant funding to be put toward the Small Business Assistance Program his department developed. Thanks to support from county supervisors Doug Verboon and Richard Valle, Lippincott was authorized $6 million in funding, he said.
“The board has been proactive in helping small businesses, especially going into the recession,” Lippincott said.
The new authorization will help Kings County businesses hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Healthy businesses support a healthy county,” Supervisor Richard Valle said.
According to Valle, the pandemic still generates a financial strain for some local businesses and the money will ease those burdens.
Kings County as a whole faced difficulty in 2020 with getting the word out to those business owners needing the support. Some businesses were uncertain if they qualified while others were concerned about too much government overreach and involvement, he said.
While some positive impact came from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) money, the ARPA grant money provides more flexibility for qualifying businesses. The process for the grants is far easier to go through for business owners and Lippincott’s department plans to be as helpful as possible.
“If in doubt, apply,” Valle added.
There are requirements for businesses to be eligible for the grant money. The business must maintain a current and valid license; must have been in operation prior to March 15, 2020; and have 100 or fewer employees.
There is a fourth requirement specific to the pandemic. The business must have incurred significant financial loss attributed to COVID-19. According to Lippincott, this financial loss must be reflected in a decrease in gross receipts between 2019-20 and 2020-21.