MISSOULA — Missoula County plans to distribute up to $625,000 in grant funding to help local businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic retain jobs for low- and moderate-income employees.
The money will be distributed through the COVID-19 Small Business Job Retention Fund and qualifying businesses will be able to submit applications this week.
The application portal for the grants will open at 9 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 10, and complete application packages will be reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis.
The grants will be supported through the Community Development Block Grant Economic Development Revolving Loan Fund.
Missoula County commissioners are making the announcement as state and federal COVID-19 assistance programs and set to end.
“The pandemic has hit us all hard, and the coronavirus has been especially devastating for small businesses,” Commissioner Josh Slotnick said in a news release.
“We get that this is just a Band-Aid, and that real, sustainable relief means an end to the crisis. This is how we can use federal money to help small businesses at the county level right now, and we're proud to do it,” Slotnick added.
Businesses must meet certain requirements to qualify for the grants, including having 50 or fewer employees, retaining at least one full-time employee who qualifies as low-to-moderate-income, and having no record of violating any COVID-19 health orders.
Funding must also apply to situations where alternative sources of public and private financing are not available or adequate to stabilize small businesses to prevent layoffs, according to a news release.
The grants will range from $10,000 to $25,000 per applicant and applications will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis. The payments are expected to begin in January of 2021.
Interested for-profit businesses can review eligibility requirements and apply online here.
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