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Cuyahoga County offers second wave of grants and loans to help local businesses

Cuyahoga County
Posted at 11:23 AM, May 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-08 11:23:48-04

CLEVELAND — Cuyahoga County is offering a second wave of funding through two programs to help local businesses both large and small through the economic crisis brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The second wave will give $2.5 million in funding to businesses in the county.

The first program is aimed at small, neighborhood-based businesses.

According to the county, small business stabilization grants are one-time grants that range from $2,500 to $5,000 to businesses with less than 25 employees.

The county has laid out the following eligibility requirements for the grants:

The grant amount will be decided by a committee based on revenue and company size before the pandemic. Not all eligible applicants will receive a grant. Ineligible applicants will be contacted and directed to lenders offering low-interest loans for business-related expenses.

  • Business must have less than 25 employees.
  • Business must have an address and physical establishment in Cuyahoga County.
  • 25% of business employees must be Cuyahoga County residents.
  • Business must have opened before May 8, 2019.
  • Business must have had less than $1 million in revenue in 2019.
  • Business must have experienced 50% revenue loss since March 17, 2020.
  • The business name must be legally registered with the Ohio Secretary of State’s Office.
  • The business itself, and the business owner, may not own real property in Cuyahoga County with delinquent real property taxes totaling more than $1,000.

Businesses who are chosen as finalists will be contacted and must submit the following documents before being awarded:

  • Copy of business bank statements generated within the last 30 days.
  • Articles of organization from the Secretary of State website
  • Scanned driver’s license or government issued ID (front and back)
  • Signed W-9
  • Bank Account Information

Business must have a plan to re-open in one year and complete post-award requirements.

  • Businesses must acknowledge intention to reopen.
  • Businesses who are approved for a grant from the Stabilization Fund must complete a required post-funding survey within 30 days of receiving funding.

Businesses who applied in the first round, but were not selected for a grant, are welcome to reapply for the second round by completing the new application. Businesses who received grant funding in the first round of applications are ineligible to receive funding in the second round. Business owners can only apply for grant funding for one business, regardless of the number of individual businesses that they own.

The following preferences will be considered:

  • Preference will be given to business owners with a personal residence in Cuyahoga County.
  • The following business types will be given preference: service industry (restaurants/bars/personal care services/cosmetology), hospitality, neighborhood healthcare/grocers, general contracting, construction, and manufacturing.
  • Businesses in low to moderate income census tracts.
  • Additional consideration will be given to businesses who applied in the first round, but were not selected for a grant.
  • Ineligible businesses include liquor stores, tobacco stores, cannabis dispensaries, adult entertainment, financial services and banks, e-commerce, and franchises which are not locally owned and operated.

There is also a small business stabilization loan program for small and mid-sized business with up to 500 employees. The loans start at $5,000 and go up to $10,000.

Here are the eligibility requirements for the small business loans:

  • Physical establishment is in Cuyahoga County.
  • Have been in operation for at least one year.

The following business types will be given preference:

  • Small Business Stabilization Loans: service industries, hospitality, manufacturing, and neighborhood healthcare.
  • Mid-Size Business Stabilization Loans: service industries, hospitality, manufacturing, neighborhood healthcare, IT, automotive, logistics and distribution, and aerospace.
  • Ineligible businesses include: businesses that have greater than $5,000 in unpaid real estate taxes owed to Cuyahoga County, adult entertainment, banks, financial services, e-commerce, liquor stores, tobacco stores, cannabis dispensaries, and franchises which are not locally owned and independently operated.

For more information about the grants and loans, as well as where to apply, click here.

Applications are due on May 15 by 5 p.m.

“We are working to do everything we can for our small businesses—they are the lifeblood of our community and provide tens of thousands of jobs in the County," said Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish.

Anyone with questions about the grants can call 216-452-9714 and speak with someone at the Cuyahoga County Small Business Resource Center.