business grants

MANSFIELD -- The deadline to apply for the Richland County/City of Mansfield COVID-19 small business emergency relief grant program is Sunday at 11:59 p.m.

As of Friday morning, 175 small businesses have applied for the grants, according to Jodie Perry, president and CEO of Richland Area Chamber & Economic Development

"We’ve had good feedback overall about the (application) process," Perry said. "We tried to make the application portal simple to access – from a computer or a phone – and also to make it easy to understand."

Mansfield and Richland County small businesses will share a pot of $500,000 in COVID-19 relief funds through a program that includes the City of Mansfield, Richland County commissioners and the Richland Area Chamber & Economic Development.

Both the county and city appropriated $275,000 in federal CARES Act relief funds in the effort, with the chamber collecting $50,000 to create and administer the program, which will be done online through the chamber website.

Eligible businesses must have 20 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees or less, have $1.5 million or less in revenues in 2019, have been in operation prior to Sept. 1, 2019, and be a for-profit business, Perry said.

Businesses with no employees other than the owner, are allowed to apply, but it must be the primary source of income for the owner.

Maximum grant amounts are $7,500 for businesses with two to 20 FTE’s and $2,500 for businesses with less than 2 FTE’s.

Other eligibility requirements as well as a full outline of the grant guidelines can be found on the chamber’s website at www.richlandareachamber.com.

Perry said the online application should take only about 20 minutes to fill out and could help bridge the gap for a small business needs.

"Our website has a ton of great information including a recording of the informational sessions so people can learn more about what they need to know to apply," Perry said.

After the application deadline, the Chamber's grant underwriting committee will score applications and announce grants on Sept. 28.

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City editor. 30-year plus journalist. Husband. Father of 3 grown sons and also a proud grandpa. Prior military journalist in U.S. Navy, Ohio Air National Guard. -- Favorite quote: "Where were you when the page was blank?"