State awards $325K in local rebound grants

Steve Lyon

A total of 35 small businesses and nonprofits in Washington County have received $325,000 in Idaho Rebounds cash grants to help with economic impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic.
 Of the 35 grant recipients in the county, 27 are located in Weiser, seven in Cambridge and one in Midvale. The nonprofits that received $10,000 grants include the Cambridge Senior Center, Weiser Chamber of Commerce and National Oldtime Fiddlers’ Contest.
 So far, the state has awarded $43 million in 5,176 cash grants and will continue until the money runs out. The data on grant recipients are found on the Transparent Idaho website.
 Most of the local grants were for the maximum of $10,000 and went to small businesses or nonprofits that employ one to 10 people. Four grants were awarded to self-employed for the maximum amount of $7,500.

Businesses could use the grants for equipment, inventory, personal protective equipment, rent or utilities.
 In May, Gov. Brad Little announced that Idaho would make $300 million available to support 30,000 small businesses economically impacted by COVID-19. The grant program was later expanded to include self-employed business owners.
 Small businesses in Idaho were eligible for grants if they had not already received an SBA-backed Payroll Protection loan or received less than $10,000 in a federal PPL loan.      The state was allowed to use money from the Coronavirus Relief Fund for the cash grants to help businesses economically impacted by the stay-home order and closure of non-essential businesses.
 Idaho received a total of $1.25 billion in federal CARES Act funding for state and local government pandemic responses.
 The rebound grants were aimed at getting money to small businesses that had suffered business interruptions due to COVID-19 required closures. The criteria for a qualified business interruption included reduced sales, suspended operations, increased costs related to COVID-19 prevention measures and disrupted supply network leading to shortage of inventory or materials.
 The governor on March 25 issued a statewide stay-home order that temporarily closed all non-essential businesses in Idaho to help slow the spread of coronavirus.
 The order was extended to April 30. On May 1 the state began to reopen businesses in four stages as part of the Idaho Rebounds program. The stay-home order was replaced with the “Stay Healthy Order” for stage 1.

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