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$50,000,000 in grants for Cobb County small businesses

BY JYOTHSNA HEGDE

Atlanta, GA, June 5, 2020: Cobb County Commissioners and government have partnered with Cobb Chamber & SelectCobb to distribute $50 Million to provide relief to small businesses that have been devastated by the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Small Business Relief Grant has been established to assist businesses of up to 100 employees with various operational and overhead expenses.  The program will be funded by way of a portion of the County’s disbursement of funding via the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. These funds are intended to be used by communities to deal with the impacts of COVID-19. The Cobb County Board of Commissioners has allocated $50 million to be disbursed by SelectCobb to small businesses impacted by the pandemic. The information below will assist companies in learning about the grant tiers, eligible uses of funds, eligibility criteria, the application process, the required memorandum of understanding, and details on how grant monies will be disbursed.

Questions will be answered by the SelectCobb team at grants@selectcobb.com or 770-859-2364. You may also contact Kartik Bhat at 678.986.4234

A GRANT APPLICATION WEBINAR will be hosted on June 10 at 10 a.m. which provides details about completing your application and answer any questions about the grant selection process. Click here to register.

As per SelectCobb website, applications will not open until June 8 at 10 a.m.

Each application will be reviewed by SelectCobb staff to ensure that all eligibility requirements are met. All eligible applications will then be reviewed by an independent committee responsible for selecting grant recipients. Applications will be accepted until June 26 at 5 p.m. 

GRANT TIERS & ELIGIBLE USES

Funding will be available in three different tiers based upon the number of full-time, W-2 employees at the company as of March 12, 2020. Eligibility will be verified via the submitted 941 IRS Form, Employers Quarterly Federal Tax Return. The tiers are as follows:

1 to 10 employees – up to $20,000

11 to 50 employees – up to $30,000

51 to 100 employees – up to $40,000

A detailed description of how the funds will be used must be included with each application submittal. Grant funds may be used for the following:

No less than 60% of the grant funds must be spent on personnel for rehiring and/or maintaining full time W-2 employees; and

40% of the grant funds may be used on other COVID-19 business related impacts and costs, including, but not limited to;

Rent/leases/equipment rental;

Utility payments;

Inventory purchases;

Marketing;

PPE and other supplies/costs to ensure employee and customer safety.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

The following are the basic eligibility requirements for applicants to be considered for grant funding through the SelectCobb Small Business Relief Grant. SelectCobb staff will review each application to ensure that all eligibility requirements are met. All eligible applications will be reviewed by an independent selection committee. It is vital for all applicants to submit the required accompanying documentation to ensure a complete application submittal. The eligibility requirements are as follows:

No applications will be accepted after June 26, 2020 at 5:00 pm;

Only complete applications will be considered for funding;

Business does not need to be a member of the Cobb Chamber nor will there be any preferential consideration for Cobb Chamber members;

Business must be an existing for-profit corporation, partnership, or sole proprietorship;

Business headquarters or primary location must be within Cobb County;

Business must have 100 or fewer full-time, W-2 employees, i.e., employees working at least 30 hours per week or 130 hours per month;

Business must have been in continuous operation for a minimum of 1 year prior to March 13, 2020;

Business must have a current business license issued by Cobb County Government, City of Acworth, City of Austell, City of Kennesaw, City of Marietta, City of Powder Springs, or City of Smyrna;

Business must be current on all local taxes;

Business may be home-based or located in an owned or leased commercial space;

Business must certify if they have received PPP and/or CARES Act SBA loans funds as of time of application submittal; 

Business cannot be a publicly traded company; and

Ineligible Businesses Include: Gambling Institutions, Pyramid Investments, Real Estate Investment Firms (REITS), Adult Entertainment

APPLICATION PROCESS

The online application portal will open on Monday, June 8 at 10:00 a.m. and close on Friday, June 26 at 5:00 pm. Applications will require the following information:

Completed online digitally signed Grant Application Form

Copy of 2019 business tax return (IRS Forms accepted include: 1120, 1120S, 1065, Schedule C or Schedule F) or company financial statements including 2019 Balance Sheets and Profit & Loss Statements

Q4 2019 & Q1 2020 941 IRS forms (with the exception of sole proprietors with no employees)

Payroll Register that includes 3/1/2020 and latest payroll register as of application date (with the exception of sole proprietors with no employees)

Copy of current business license issued by Cobb County or a Cobb County municipality (Acworth, Austell, Kennesaw, Marietta, Powder Springs, or Smyrna)

Copy of Articles of Incorporation, Operating Agreement or Partnership Agreement for Corporations, LLC or Partnerships

Copy of Certificate of Organization and Certificate of Existence from Georgia Secretary of State (with the exception of sole proprietors)

Once the application period closes, SelectCobb staff will review all applications to ensure eligibility. All eligible applications will be reviewed by an independent selection committee to recommend grant recipients and grant amounts, per the eligible tiers. A scoring matrix will be used to review each application so that it is a fair and equitable process. The committee will be comprised of individuals from all areas of Cobb and will include a diverse group of industries, including:

Banking;

Certified public accountants;

Legal;

Small business;

County government;

and others.

The committee will review applications per Commission District so that all areas are equally represented in the number of applicants selected to receive a grant. The committee will review all applications as expeditiously as possible. Once determinations are made, a public announcement of grants funds will be made by representatives of the selection committee, SelectCobb, Cobb Chamber, and Cobb County Government. Our goal is to notify grant recipients within thirty days of the application deadline.

MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING AND GRANT DISBURSEMENT

Grant awardees will be required to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with SelectCobb to ensure accountability of grant monies. The memorandum will include:

The total grant amount;

How the funds will be disbursed;

Requirements for how the funds are to be used;

Agreement to the following accountability measures: 1) monthly reporting of how the funds are used until they have been exhausted; and 2) proof of rehiring/retaining employees;

A claw back provision stating that companies that do not meet their commitment will be required to pay the monies back to Cobb County;

The funds will be disbursed in two increments:  the initial disbursement of 50% of the total grant amount, at the time the Memorandum of Agreement is signed; and a second disbursement of the remaining 50% will be paid to the company once proof of rehiring/maintaining the current workforce is provided through monthly reporting;

Companies that do not provide the proof of rehiring/maintaining their workforce will be subject to the claw back provision of the Memorandum of Agreement; and

Companies must request the second disbursement of grant funds no more than sixty (60) days after the first disbursement is provided.

You may visit https://selectcobb.com/industries/grants/ for details

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