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County awards grants to 30 small businesses

LISBON — Thirty more small businesses and two community organizations were awarded grants funded by county commissioners with a portion of their federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security aid.

Commissioners approved the 32 grants totaling $272,862 as part of $1.88 million in expenditures made with money awarded the county through the CARES Act, which was passed by Congress in April to help federal, state and local governments, businesses and individuals impacted by the fallout from COVID-19.

Commissioners received $5.9 million in CARES money and it has to be approved for a specific use by Nov. 20 or returned to the county treasurer. The earmarked CARES money has to be spent by Dec. 31.

With time running out, commissioners on Sept. 30 announced they were setting aside $250,000 from CARES — later increased to $550,000 — to fund creation of the Small Business Relief Grant Program to help local businesses hit hard by COVID-19 and the government’s response to the pandemic.

Businesses could seek up $10,000 and the following is a list of latest recipients:

— Miller Castings, $10,000.

— Moondance Boutique, $10,000.

— Pondi’s, $10,000.

— Paul’s Taxi, $10,000.

— Sal’s Place, $10,000.

— Zorich Industries, $10,000.

— SRE Doors & Hardware, $10,000.

— Tara Market, $10,000.

— Lisbon Pallet, $10,000.

— Liebe Wien LLC, $10,000.

— Imagine That Daycare, $10,000.

— Cutting Edge Design, $5,601.

— Busy B Muffler Service, $10,000

— Alloy Machining & Fabricating, $10,000.

— Slack’s Antique Mall, $2,591.

— Don’s Barbershop, $4,722.

— Bombshell Beauty Salon, $10,000.

— Little Hands Learning, $6,934.

— Madison Corner, $8,261.

— Miladin Chiropratic, $9,384.

— Pancake Auto Body, $10,000.

— Power Fitness FT, $4,170.

— Campbell Signs & Apparel, $10,000.

— Fast Track Driving School, $10,000.

— The Graphic Touch, $9,600.

— Group Leaders of America, $10,000.

— Hayes Lawn Care, $6,000.

— Scullion Vision, $10,000.

— Simply Sweet Cakes, $10,000.

— Sports Connection of Salem, $9,294.

— The Way Station, $1,548.

— Yarian Quality Meats, $4,757.

At the same meeting commissioners used $1.46 million to bring wireless broadband to underserved areas of the county, which represented the last of its CARES money.

A combined $354,973 in small business loans were awarded, about $200,000 less than was originally set aside. Commissioner Mike Halleck said they were unable to fund a number of eligible applications because of their last-minute decision to put the remaining funds into their broadband initiative.

“We felt this needed to be a priority,” he said of the broadband initiative.

Uncommitted CARES money from cities, villages and townships is to be returned to the county treasurer after Nov. 20, and Halleck said commissioners may be entitled to a portion of that. If so, they will use that money to fund some more of the small business grant applications.

To qualify for the grant program, the business must have employed no more than 50 people, have less than $3 million in annual gross revenue, and experienced a 35 percent decline in revenue in any 30-day period this year compared to March through September 2019. Applicants also had to disclose whether they received any other COVID-19 relief available to businesses and non-profit organizations.

Other recipients of CARES money included the East Liverpool YMCA, which received $20,810 to purchase coronavirus-related supplies. The county engineer’s office received $70,770 to purchase two crew-cab trucks for the county water and sewer department and $15,198 to purchase a water pressure washer. Another $25,989 went to the county auditor’s office to upgrade its computer server.

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