Greene County small businesses benefit from ARPA pandemic assistance

The Greene County Commission’s office is dispersing American Rescue Plan Act funding to small...
The Greene County Commission’s office is dispersing American Rescue Plan Act funding to small businesses that were impacted by the pandemic.(KY3)
Published: Aug. 4, 2022 at 4:47 AM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - The Greene County Commission’s office is dispersing American Rescue Plan Act funding to small businesses impacted by the pandemic.

The Greene County Commissions office awarded 57 small businesses ARPA grants to help with pandemic recovery efforts. The county received hundreds of applications and more than $760,000 in aid. Businesses that received the funding had to undergo an application process and meet specific criteria.

“We develop guidelines in accordance with or in compliance with the ARPA funding requirements,” said ARPA Equity and Grant Coordinator Lyle Foster. “Then businesses filled out an online application. They had to attach different pieces of documentation. And then it’s gone through several rounds of review by Greene county staff and our Advisory Council.”

The funds also had to be used for business expenses like payroll, COVID-19 protections, and accommodations or developing an online presence. For Complete Weddings and Events, this money helps with the loss of revenue when the lockdowns lead to many cancelations.

“We’re still obviously trying to recover from those rescheduled events, but the problem we’re dealing with now is everything has gone up,” said the owner of Complete Weddings and Events, Terrie Reno. “As far as the cost of doing business, our wages are up almost 30% our equipment, in some cases, it’s almost 50% increase, and then just the general cost of doing business has gone up. But in the meantime, we’re honoring contracts that were signed in 2019 and early 2020. So at rates that didn’t budget this kind of an increase, and so this money is helping us cover those gaps in our budget.”

There are also restrictions on how the money can be used.

“You can’t use it on personal expenses,” said Foster. “So you’re not supposed to you can’t take the ARPA funds and go back car purchase or own etc. It has to be used for eligible or allowable business expenses. It can be used for payroll. It can be used for rent utilities. Interestingly enough, too. It also can be used for COVID mitigation.”

The county focused on smaller businesses with 50 employees or less with this round of funding. Some other businesses that received ARPA funds are BookMarx, Farmers Gastropub, Getaway golf, and Springfield Parking company.

“We’re still obviously trying to recover from those rescheduled events,” said Reno. “The problem we’re dealing with now is everything has gone up. As far as the cost of doing business, our wages are up almost 30% our equipment, in some cases, it’s almost 50% increase, and then just the general cost of doing business has gone up. In the meantime, we’re honoring contracts that were signed in 2019 and early 2020. So at rates that didn’t budget this kind of an increase, and so this money is helping us cover those gaps in our budget.”

Businesses received anywhere from $5000 to $28,000. The county has $8 million to issue to small businesses. The next round of applications will be available for nonprofits soon.

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