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County Offering COVID-19 Assistance to Rural Small Businesses

Cumberland County has appropriated a portion of its Federal Community Development Block Grant CARES Funds (CDBG-CV) for the COVID-19 Small Business Assistance Program. The program is being established to provide working capital funds to eligible small businesses that have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

This funding is available to small businesses outside the urban centers and CDBG entitlement cities of Vineland, Millville, and Bridgeton. For purposes of the program description, “county businesses” will exclude establishments in these three municipalities.

Cumberland County Board of Commissioners Director Joseph Derella describes the program as a “life line for our county’s rural small businesses,” stating, “As Bridgeton, Millville and Vineland are CDBG eligible cities entitled to receive funds focused on assistance to businesses in those three cities, this program will focus on small businesses in our rural municipalities who are not otherwise eligible to receive CDBG funds.”

Grant awards range from a minimum of $1,000 to a maximum of $10,000. A press conference will be held in the Cumberland County Improvement Authority Training Room at 745 Lebanon Road in Millville on August 12 at 9 a.m. to announce the kick-off of the County Small Business Grant and Tourism Grant programs.

Eligible Grantees:

• Cumberland County retail, restaurants, entertainment, and nonprofessional service businesses with no more than 10 employees, including full and part-time,

• Must have been in operation as of December 31, 2019.

• The business must have one employee, which can be the business owner, who will be retained and meets the low/moderate income requirement through review of family size and family income OR by living in a low/mod area, OR by the business being located within a low/mod area

• Any businesses deemed eligible for federal assistance by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.

• Any business that can certify that they will remain open or reopen if grant funds are approved and received.

Eligible Use Of Funds:

• The funds may be used for general operating expenses, including but not limited to: payroll, mortgage/rent, internet connection, insurance, loan repayments, inventory or supplies for a 120-day period, costs related to compliance with social distancing protocol and personal protection equipment are eligible for funding. Applicants must provide documentation of eligible expenses

• Specifically excluded from eligible expenses are public utility payments and real estate taxes (unless they are in escrow and included in regular mortgage payments).