Hamilton County, OH (May 15, 2020) Hamilton County Commissioners are utilizing $5 Million in Federal CARES Act funds to help small businesses in Hamilton County impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Hamilton County Small Business Relief Program aims to help those small businesses with less than $1Million in gross revenue with between two to 50 employees that have not already received federal assistance. 

Hamilton County is currently finalizing the application process for this program with help from several community partners including HCDC, Inc., Hamilton County Community Development, chambers of commerce, and a diverse group of stakeholders. The application is expected to be available next week. 

Small Businesses can sign up on the County’s website to receive a notification as soon as the application is available. $5,000 and $10,000 grants will be awarded through a randomized lottery drawing and verification of eligibility. Future rounds of assistance may occur following a thorough review and evaluation of this initial round.

Eligibility Requirements:

·         be located in Hamilton County, Ohio

·         be a small business that has been in operation since January 2019

·         have less than $1 million in gross revenue/receipts on an annual basis

·      Have 50 or fewer employees or 1099 workers as of March 22, 2020.  This can be demonstrated by forms such as 2019 Form W-3 (Transmittal of Wage and Tax Statement) or 2019 Form 1096 (Annual Summary and Transmittal of U.S. Information Returns) and payroll reports or checks that evidence number of workers as of March 22, 2020, or statement attesting/certifying that your business has no employees or 1099 workers.

·         have experienced a decrease in gross revenue/receipts of 35% or more due to COVID-19

·         not already received federal assistance

Eligible Expenses:

·         mortgage payments and rent payments 

·         utility payments

·         salaries or wages of employees employed by the business.

·         materials and supplies related to business interruption 

·         Personal Protective Equipment or other COVID-19 related costs to re-opening

Summary of Process

1.           Pre-application

Applicants will fill out an application to determine if they meet all of the requirements and certify that the information submitted is true and accurate.

Businesses can choose to apply for a $5,000 or $10,000 grant.

2.           Randomized Lottery Drawing

Businesses that have passed through the application will be entered into one of two lotteries based on their business size: 0 – 10 employees or 11 – 50 employees. Of the $5 million, funding will be distributed based on the percentage of applicants in each lottery. 

3.           Documentation Submission

Companies that were randomly selected via the lottery will be invited to the second stage review which will require the applicant to upload documents demonstrating that the business meets requirements and confirm how the funds will be spent. If any of the businesses do not meet the criteria, they will be eliminated from the lottery.

4.           Grant Agreement

Awarded businesses will be required to sign a grant agreement prior to the release of funds. Once signed, HCDC, Inc. will then transfer the grant to the business.

5.           Close Out Report

Businesses are required to submit a grant final report to include, at minimum, jobs retained/created, proof of payment for expenses identified in the business’s application (paid invoices, canceled checks, bank statements, etc.) and how the funds impacted their business.

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