There are now $200,000 in grants available for Jackson County businesses with less than 30 employees.

On July 2, ADECA (Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs) announced that Gov. Kay Ivey awarded a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG-CV) for coronavirus relief to Jackson County in the amount of $500,000.

The grant application, submitted on behalf of the Jackson County Commission by the Top of Alabama Regional Council of Governments (TARCOG), allocated funds for infrastructure upgrades to assist first responders and public safety officials, provide assistance to local food banks and award Jackson County small businesses with working capital grants.

“The CDBG-CV grant provides much needed help to our citizens of Jackson County by supporting our efforts to upgrade first responder radio systems to improve emergency response times, providing funds to local food banks to support the increasing number of families in need of food assistance and to provide recovery assistance to our county’s small businesses,” said County Commission Chairman Bill Nance.

Nance said small businesses were the hardest hit at the onset of COVID-19.

“Uncertainty of lockdown length reduced hours and capacity and return to normal has created stress on businesses that rely on loyal customer bases to keep their doors open,” added Nance.

The grants will provide funds to small businesses throughout Jackson County working to get back to normal operations and serve citizens. Business owners may access the grant application through the Mountain Lakes Chamber of Commerce website, www.mountainlakeschamberofcommerce.com/apply.

The application period for the Small Business Grant program will open Monday, Aug. 9 and run through midnight on Monday, Aug. 23. Applicants will be notified of selection by the end of September.

Applicants must have a valid Alabama State Business License, and, if applicable, valid business license in each city the business operates. Applicants may receive up to $15,000 in funding.

Businesses are still eligible if they received other federal assistance throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, but the funds cannot be used for the same purposes.

There is no set cap on the number of businesses that may be awarded. Grants will be awarded to qualifying applicants that are chosen by a review panel made up of the following community partners: Jackson County Commission, Mountain Lakes Chamber of Commerce, Jackson County Economic Development Authority and Neighborhood Concepts, Inc. Applications will also undergo a brief underwriting process, as a federal requirement.

Small businesses are encouraged to start preparing their application package in advance of the application period, Aug. 9-23. Preparations will include proper licensing, financial records and cost proposals. Tax preparers may not apply for grants on behalf of their clients but may assist applicants with information needed to complete their application.

If you have questions about your application, reach out to Mountain Lakes Chamber of Commerce by calling 256-259-5500 or visit them online.

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