Kent County has added $3.5 million to a grant program providing financial assistance to small businesses ailing from the financial fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The latest allocation to the Kent County Small Business Recovery Program includes grants of $10,000, $20,000, $30,000 and $40,000 for employers with 26 to 50 full-time employees. Grant amounts to individual businesses will depend on the company’s size, operating costs and other scoring metrics.
“Our small businesses are the heart and soul of this community,” said Mandy Bolter, who chairs the Kent County Board of Commissioners. “And, in some cases, this financial support could be the difference between a business staying open or closing its doors.”
Using funding from the federal CARES Act, Kent County earlier allocated $25 million for grants to small businesses with 25 employees or less, plus $5 million for companies closed by executive order and $750,000 for childcare providers.
Administered by the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce, the Kent County Small Business Recovery Program has awarded more than $20 million in grants to date. They include grants to 49 businesses that had to close by executive order totaling $1.13 million and $510,000 to 86 childcare providers.
“There’s still funding out there,” said Dante Villarreal, vice president of business and talent development at the Grand Rapids Chamber. “What we’re seeing is we’re very much in the middle of this global pandemic and for businesses having a difficult last quarter of this year these dollars will be very impactful.”