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MANSFIELD – The Richland Area Chamber & Economic Development announced Monday they are collaborating with Richland County to launch a second round of the popular small business grant program to assist area businesses impacted by COVID-19.

At this time there is $675,000 to be distributed to businesses throughout Richland County. The Chamber has changed some of the eligibility guidelines for Round 2 of the grant application process.

Eligible businesses must have 40 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees or less, have $4 million or less in revenues in 2019, and have been in operation prior to February 28, 2020. The maximum grant amounts are $7,500 for businesses with 2-40 FTE’s and $2,500 for businesses with less than 2 FTE’s.

Certain types of non-profits are eligible to apply in this round - 501c4, 501c6, 501c7, 501c19, 501c23. (There will be a separate round of applications for 501c3 non-profits, starting at a later date.) Businesses who received funding in an earlier round of this local grant program are not eligible to apply again.

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.

“We were overwhelmed by the amount of requests we had in Round 1, and I want to thank the Richland County Commissioners for allocating additional funds for another round so that we can assist more businesses,” said Jodie A. Perry, Chamber President & CEO. “We know many of our local businesses are hurting and we are hopeful that these grants can make a difference for them as they continue to grapple with the effects of the pandemic.”

Applications will be taken online through the Chamber’s website starting at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 28 through 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 5. The Chamber will announce grant recipients on Nov. 16.

Once again, the Chamber expects a large volume of applications to the program. Perry encourages all eligible businesses to apply. If additional monies become available, the Chamber will use the list of businesses from this round of applications to make additional awards.

“The Commissioners were very pleased to see so many businesses were able to be supported in the first round of this program,” said County Commissioner Marilyn John. “We appreciate the Chamber’s hard work on this and know that this new funding will be just as impactful for our small business community.”

Five online informational sessions are scheduled:

 Wednesday, Oct. 28 at 2 p.m.

 Thursday, Oct. 29 at 9 a.m.

 Friday, Oct. 30 th at 2 p.m.

 Monday, Nov. 2 at 1 p.m.

 Wednesday, Nov. 4 at 10 a.m.

The sessions are free but require a registration, visit the Chamber’s website to register.

In Round 1 over 225 local businesses were awarded over $1.2 million which was contributed by Richland County; the cities of Mansfield, Shelby, and Ontario; and the villages of Lexington, Plymouth, and Bellville.

Applications for Round 2 of the Richland County Small Business Grants must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020. For more information regarding the Richland County/Mansfield Small Business Relief Grant, visit the Richland Area Chamber & Economic Development website at www.richlandareachamber.com or call their office at 419-522-3211.

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