A Total of 55 Small Businesses in 18 Different Municipalities Set to Receive $1.5 Million in Funds
CUYAHOGA COUNTY, OH – Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish announced that 55 small businesses are set to receive awards through the Cuyahoga County Small Business STIMulus Grant Program. The program is specifically designed for small businesses who survived the COVID-19 pandemic and are seeking to grow, with an eye on minority-owned businesses. Approximately $1.5 million – made available through American Rescue Plan Act funds – will be disbursed to local businesses in 18 different municipalities across the county.
“These grants will help dozens of small businesses grow through the purchase of new equipment, upgrading technology, and hiring of additional staff,” said Executive Budish. “For example, the funds will help a bakery in Beachwood purchase a cookie machine and cake mixer to increase sales, a landscaping company in Bedford Heights purchase a new commercial lawnmower to fulfill more contracts, and a day care center in Lyndhurst to cover transportation costs for field trips and implement a new sensory activity room for autistic children.”
The grant program, announced in early August, was directed by the county’s Department of Development while the National Development Council (NDC) served as grant administrator and fiscal agent. The county and NDC hosted webinars for interested businesses during a month-long application window, which saw over 2,800 businesses apply. A strict vetting process was followed that included each application being reviewed multiple times by different NDC staffers before award recommendations were sent to the STIMulus Grant’s Advisory Committee**. The 13-member committee reviewed all recommendations and made final decisions on awards. Scoring priority was given to applicants who are minority-owned and those who secured additional outside funding support.
“NDC is once again honored and proud to have played a part in Cuyahoga County’s STIMulus program. And we congratulate the 55 businesses selected,” said Ann Finnegan, Director of NDC Small Business Lending. “They are part of a strong and committed small business community and they represent an important part of the County’s economic future as they move from pandemic relief to recovery, stabilization, and growth.”
Awarded businesses span a variety of different industries that include accommodation and food services, construction, educational services, health care and social assistance, manufacturing, retail trade, and transportation and warehousing. Grant award amounts range from $10,000 to $50,000. Awardees were notified last night and must submit final paperwork for verification purposes. Once final paperwork is submitted, the award will be processed and funds will be transferred to awardees. Approximately $300,000 in STIMulus grants will be awarded to additional small business applicants in the coming weeks.
The STIMulus Grant Program is Executive Budish’s latest initiative to support small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. In April 2020, Budish created the Small Business Stabilization Fund (SBSF) and committed over $4 million in grants and loans to support local businesses throughout Cuyahoga County. A month later, he committed another $2.5 million in grants that helped support hundreds of small businesses. In November 2020, Budish announced a third round and committed an additional $4 million in funds. He later created the Restaurant Stabilization Fund and committed $1.7 million to help nearly 200 local restaurants. Today’s announcement brings the total to nearly $14 million that have supported more than 1,000 local businesses. To hear from small business owners who received previous COVID-19 funding from Cuyahoga County, check out this video or subscribe to the Let’s Talk Cuyahoga Podcast and listen to “Episode 8: Small Business Week in Cuyahoga County.”
Small business owners can learn more about resources available to them in Cuyahoga County by visiting the Business Growth Compass to determine which organization(s) best fit their needs.