Butler County city offering grants to small businesses affected by COVID-19

Monroe will spend $50,000 from its federal CARES Act disbursement to create a grant program for local small businesses.

Applications for grants will be accepted between Nov. 16 and Dec. 4. The Monroe Community Improvement Corporation will administer the program within council’s guidelines, said City Manager Bill Brock. The city must expend the COVID-19 funding by the end of the year.

The grants are designed to provide resources businesses need to sustain payroll, hire back employees who may have been laid off, and reduce eligible overhead costs associated with the pandemic, said Jennifer Patterson, assistant to the city manager/economic development.

“We want to make sure that we can get funding to our small businesses affected by the pandemic,” Patterson said. “They’re an important part of our community and we want to support them.”

Patterson said appropriate projects include reimbursements for COVID-related costs such as those incurred during mandated closures, reimbursements for costs related to Responsible Restart activities or onboarding of former employees furloughed or laid off due to COVID-19 concerns.

The city of Middletown approved a similar COVID-19 small business grant program last month.

She said awards are anticipated to be limited to $2,500 for bricks-and-mortar businesses and $1,000 for home occupations, but these amounts are subject to changes based on program demand.

Patterson said priority will be given to companies that did not receive federal or state assistance, such as federal PPP loans, and companies that have a history of community involvement.

Eligible businesses must have 50 or fewer employees or contractors in business as of Jan. 1, 2019.

Questions about the program can be answered by contacting Patterson at grants@monroeohio.org or at 513-539-7374, ext. 1023.

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