February 8, 2023

CARES Act funding to be used to help small businesses in Central Ohio

The City of Columbus and Franklin County have paid out more than $8 million to small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic and more help is coming for those businesses. 

The money is coming from CARES Act funding, which the city and county used to set up a program for struggling small businesses, especially those owned by minorities. 

It is all part of the Columbus Franklin County COVID-19 Small Business Response and Recovery Fund, which launched in June.

Mayor Andrew Ginther said he and the partners on this want to focus on minority-woned small shops in Central Ohio, who some say were left out of federal funding like the PPP. 

According to the city, 84 percent of the businesses getting grants have five employees or less, 43 percent are owned by women, and 80 percent are owned by minorities. 

So far, the program has paid out $8.3 million in three ways: recovery grants with cash, small business return safely grants specifically for PPE costs, and pivot loans for shops looking to change their business models to adapt during the pandemic. 

“We also knew minority and women-owned businesses had been left out from the recovery of the last recession the great recession of 2008 and 2009 so equity had to be a top priority,” Ginther said. 

The deadline to apply for these grants has passed and city staff said they are still reviewing and approving applications from businesses who met the deadline. 

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