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Loans & Grants

Franklin County CARES Act Grant

Loans & Grants

Franklin County CARES Act Grant

In response to COVID-19, the CARES Act included aid to small businesses impacted by the pandemic.

This funding is intended to support activities to prepare, prevent and respond to the impacts of COVID-19 and improve capacity for future safety and resilience. Franklin County has established this program to assist a limited number of businesses that meet specific requirements set by the CDBG CARES Act Small Business Assistance program and Franklin County economic development priorities.

On behalf of Franklin County, the Franklin County Economic Development Corporation is administering this program. 

  • Program Qualification
  • Eligible Expenses
  • Funding Amounts
  • Funding Criteria
Program Qualification

Who qualifies for this program?

  • private, for-profit, small business entity located in Franklin County that is legal, licensed and operating, with up to 25 employees, 
  • are unable to sufficiently access other state and federal resources,
  • were in operation prior to January 1, 2020
    • the program may extend assistance to business acquisitions, start-ups or other existing businesses as dictated by need. There must be a strong connection to COVID-19 in any case.
  • have experienced demonstrable impacts due to COVID-19 including, but not limited to:
    • the United States/Canada border closure (decrease in traffic, tourism, etc.)
    • longer than average closures and significant capacity restrictions due to mandates
    • significant expenses to address safety concerns and mandates, adapt to new market conditions, implement new COVID-related business practices, and/or mitigate risk

It is anticipated that applicants will primarily utilize funding to cover expenses related to COVID-19 impacts including equipment and fixtures that expand or improve capacity or working capital expenses, such as normal operating expenses or other hard and soft costs related to operations and/or improvements. The program allows for forward and backward-looking expenses to March 2020. 

Eligible Expenses

What are eligible expenses?

Eligible projects for this program are those that can demonstrate how funds provided will: 

  • prepare, prevent or respond to impacts of COVID-19, 
  • retain or create jobs for low- to moderate-income (LMI) households,
  • support safety and improve business resiliency related to future disaster occurrences, and
  • demonstrate project readiness and ability to complete projects within one year.

Eligible uses for funds must prepare, prevent or respond to impacts of COVID-19 including: 

  • Working capital to resume, expand or implement operations including:
    • Essential wages, taxes, and normal benefit payments to employees essential to maintain business
    • Normal draws or wages on a weekly or monthly basis to you as owner
    • Capital for hiring employees to support eligible projects
    • Capital to adapt to new market conditions, implement post-COVID business practices, and to mitigate risk in terms of business facilities, equipment, systems, and staffing
    • Normal operating costs that are included in “cost of goods sold” on your business income statement (raw materials for manufacturers, component pieces for assemblers, items for resale for retailers, food for restaurants, etc.)
    • Normal operating expenses that are included in “operating expenses” your business income statement (rent, utilities, insurance, professional services, etc.)
    • Required monthly business loan payments
  • Costs of business interruption caused by required closures including:
    • Reimbursement of operating and soft costs above incurred during the period of interruption
    • Will require an attestation by the grant recipient that its operations were shut down or severely curtailed after March 1, 2020, for a defined period of time
    • Costs incurred during a reopening process, including the additional business interruption that happens when a small business must limit their accessibility to the public, and for displaying and/or communicating state-based requirements for public access
    • Operating costs for the purchase of items meant to protect the public and employees, such as personal protective equipment (PPE), protective masks, protective shielding, hand sanitizer, and other costs incurred by installing required safety measures in order to reopen a business
  • Reimbursement of operating and soft costs above incurred during post-COVID recovery to help stabilize the business 
  • New equipment, fixtures or technology to:
    • Capture business opportunities that respond to COVID19 and similar pandemics
    • Reconfigure a space to support social distancing or comply with physical distancing requirements
    • Acquisition costs such as business transitions may be an eligible expense when combined with other related activities. However, applicants must be able to demonstrate that the project, however defined, has a clear connection to COVID-19 and will meet one of HUD’s National Objectives
Funding Amounts

How much funding is available?

Businesses that meet eligibility criteria are potentially eligible to receive:

  • up to a total of $85,000 in grant funds (depending on demonstrated need and availability of funds) 
  • grant bridge loans up the amount of award to assist with expenses while awaiting reimbursement
  • bridge loans up to $75,000 in longer-term funding for projects requiring additional investment
Funding Criteria

What is the funding criteria?

Applications will be evaluated based on their alignment with eligibility criteria and:

  • extent of COVID-19 related impact including  ability to explain and demonstrate ability to prepare, prevent or respond to impacts of COVID-19
  • value of project in improving future resiliency
  • amount of funds requested/needed as compared to positive business and community impacts

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