GREENE COUNTY, Mo. – Small businesses in Greene County are now able to apply for American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The county is receiving a total of $56.9 million in federal ARPA funding. Greene County received $28.4 million in 2021, and will receive the remainder later this year.
The application process opened Wednesday, and the Greene County Commission has allocated nearly $8 million for potential applicants. The commission will conduct four phases of funding over the next two years, during which $2 million per phase will be allocated to small businesses.
The first and current cycle of the application process will be open for six weeks until the May 31 deadline. Greene County asks applicants to provide a report of how they plan to spend the grant to support their business and/or recover losses.
ARPA is similar to the CARES Act from 2020, with both stimulus packages intended to support the economy and recover from COVID-19 restrictions. However, there are many differences between the two. ARPA’s timeframe for expenditures and its expanded qualifying uses for funds are the two most significant distinctions.
Businesses must meet the following criteria to be eligible for ARPA:
- Must reside within Greene County as of March 1, 2020.
- Must be for-profit or family-owned and employ 50 or fewer full-time employees, including the owner(s).
- Must not employ undocumented workers and must be enrolled in E-Verify.
- Must show negative impacts brought on by the COVID-19 public health emergency since March 1, 2020.
- Must not be suspended or debarred from use of federal funding.
The U.S. Treasury Department says ARPA funding can be used for mitigation of declines in revenue or negative impacts of forced closure. Funds also may be used to design and implement new COVID-19 prevention and mitigation tactics.
Small businesses are not allowed to use ARPA funding for non-business debt, political activities, bonuses for employees, taxes, fines or purchases unrelated to the business.
Greene County employees will be hosting a small business virtual workshop on Wednesday April 27 at 2 p.m. to help business owners apply for ARPA funding and answer any questions. Small business owners can join the meeting here.
Greene County also plans to roll out a cycle of applications for nonprofit organizations in the near future. The county must spend all of its ARPA money by Dec. 31, 2024, and businesses are required to finish all ARPA-funded projects by Dec. 31, 2026.
To apply for Greene County ARPA funding, go here.