WOODSTOCK — The Shenandoah County Small Business Grant Review Committee met Wednesday in what was the first of a likely weekly meeting to go through grant applications from small businesses.
Up to $15,000 of COVID-19 Small Business Recovery Assistance Grant money is available to each small business within the countyonce approved through the application process. The money is from the county’s share of CARES Act allocations. If pushed through by the review committee, final approval will come from the Shenandoah County Industrial Development Authority.
Jenna French, the county’s director of Tourism and Economic Development, led the meeting, which was held in the Emergency Operations Center Training Room at the Shenandoah County Government Complex.
Reviews were made during the closed session portion of the meeting. When the meeting was reopened, 13 applicants — which would account for around $195,000 — had been approved with another seven tabled while waiting on further documents that are needed. Two others were dismissed since this particular grant is not given to certain nonprofit organizations or home-based businesses, French said.
This particular grant did, however, include nonprofits that were related to tourism. French said another grant application is being worked out to support other nonprofits, as well.
“We’re continuing to look at the types of applications we’re getting and the interest that’s out in the community,” French said following Wednesday’s meeting. “Because now that we know an additional $3.8 million has been allocated to the county, it provides us an opportunity to do some additional programs moving forward.”
French said the review committee is looking for businesses that experienced disruptions directly related to COVID-19.
“We’re looking to show that a business is able to show some type of disruption in their business,” French said. “If a business is actually having record sales, they may not qualify because they can’t demonstrate that loss of revenue.”
French said, ideally, approved businesses will be ones that were forced to shut down or adapt their operation for a period of time as a result of COVID-19.
According to the application, the grant can help cover up to six months in rent or mortgage relief, reopening expenses, utility payments, payroll or debt service related to capital expenditures such as business equipment or personal property. Receipts or proof of qualified expenses must be provided to receive payment.
The application says funds will be distributed on a reimbursement basis with proof of purchase or qualifying expense required. For any future expenses such as utilities or rent extending beyond the date of application, a check will be written upon award for any expenses incurred to date and subsequent checks issued as additional receipts and invoices are submitted to the Shenandoah County IDA for approval.
The list of recommendations from Wednesday’s meeting will be presented to the IDA during its meeting today. A weekly update also will be sent to the county Board of Supervisors, French said.
This process will continue until all of the allocated CARES Act money is distributed, French said.
The seven-person review committee is made up of French, Edinburg Mayor Dan Harshman, Strasburg Community Development Director Michelle Bixler, Shenandoah County Chamber of Commerce President Sharon Baroncelli, IDA Vice Chair Jay Winkfield, New Market Events and Marketing Director Amber Smoot and Woodstock’s Director of Marketing and Events Katie Mercer.