Kent County approves $5 million in grants for small businesses, hotels
From: Delaware Live
Kent County Levy Court has approved a $5 million grant program for small businesses and hospitality companies affected by the pandemic.
The measure, which passed unanimously during a Nov. 9 meeting, is Kent County’s first use of the $35.5 million it received in American Rescue Plan Act funds.
The grant program includes $3 million in grants for businesses with less than 100 employees to pay for employee wages and other business expenses and $2 million for hotels, event venues and other tourism hospitality industry companies.
Judy Diogo, president of the Central Delaware Chamber of Commerce, said it’s important to remember that many small businesses had to close during the pandemic by no choice of their own.
She doesn’t know exactly how many small businesses were forced to close permanently because not all of Kent County’s businesses are members of the chamber, but she is aware of 58 member businesses having closed because of COVID-related impacts.
Under the program, at least 633 small businesses would be able to qualify for aid, Diogo said.
County administrator Michael Petit de Mange said grants can be used for any type of business expense that would otherwise be paid for with the revenue that has been lost.
“It’s going to be spelled out in the grant application, but it could be paying bills, it could be covering payroll or business supplies or other expenses related to the business utility expenses,” he said.
Grant applications will be processed by Dover accounting firm Faw Casson to check for compliance and eligibility.
They will then be reviewed by the Central Delaware Chamber of Commerce and Kent County Tourism Corporation, who will send their final recommendations to the Levy Court for approval.
Once the applications are determined to be accurate and complete, they will be referred to the Levy Court, which will vote on their approval. Payment will be issued directly by the county. Read more.