City uses CARES funding to assist local organizations

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By Andrea Cordle
Grove City Editor

The city of Grove City has received just over $2.8 million in federal Coronavirus Aid, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding. City officials have already spent $1.1 million.

At the Nov. 2 meeting, Grove City Council agreed to utilize some of the remaining $1.5 million in funds to assist community organizations. Council also approved a resolution to urge the federal government to extend the deadline for the use of CARES Act funding.

CARES Act funds must be spent by the end of December. Due to the continuation of the novel coronavirus pandemic, the city is asking the federal government to extend the CARES Act completion date to at least July 1, 2021.

“The intent (of the CARES Act funding) is to do good in the community,” said councilman Roby Schottke. “Extending the deadline would be good for the community.”

Even though council supports an extension to spend the federal funds, council members approved CARES Act dollars for several local organizations. The organizations were made aware that the funds would need to be utilized by the end of December.

This funding includes $76,000 for the Grove City and the Vaughn E. Hairston YMCAs, $71,000 for Southwest Public Libraries, $59,000 for the Little Theatre Off Broadway, $43,000 for the Grove City Food Pantry, and $12,000 for Voicecorps Reading Services.
If the city has any unused funds at the end of the year, if there is no extension granted, the money would go back to the federal government.

In related news, council approved a resolution to urge Governor Mike DeWine and the Ohio Legislature to extend the deadline for operating public meetings electronically.

According to Stephen Smith, the city’s law director, the governor’s hiatus on in-person meetings would end in December.

“We are asking him to extend that until the emergency is over,” said Smith.

In March, lawmakers passed a bill allowing councils, boards, and commissions to operate meetings electronically during the declared emergency. This ends on Dec. 1.

The majority of the state is listed as a very high risk of exposure to the coronavirus.

“I can’t imagine, with our numbers, it would not be extended,” said Smith.

Small Business Working Capital Grant Program

In September, Grove City officials decided to use $100,000 in CARES Act funds to help small businesses by enacting the Small Business Working Capital Grant Program.
Due to demand, council approved a measure to allocate even more funds for the grant program. This legislation was passed at a special council meeting held Oct. 26.

The city will use another $100,000 from CARES Act funds for the grant program.

The program was developed to provide businesses with temporary relief to offset operational costs to reopen, reestablish operations and return employees to work. Grants are available in an amount up to $2,500 per eligible business. An eligible business is considered a locally owned and operated for-profit business employing a maximum of 25 full-time associates. It must be reliant on customers patronizing its brick and mortar establishment.

Grove City Development Director Kyle Rauch said the funds could be used to purchase inventory, buy personal protective equipment or for building modifications that help the business comply with public health safety measures like physical distancing.

For more information on the Small Business Working Capital Grant Program, visit www.grovecityohio.gov or call the development department at 614-277-3004.

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