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The Springfield chamber plans to use its grant funding to help small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
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The Springfield chamber plans to use its grant funding to help small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chamber chosen for $537K CARES Act grant

Posted online

The Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce is slated to receive nearly $537,000 from Greene County through its Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act grant program.

The chamber's $536,661 grant was part of the latest round of funding, through which area businesses and organizations are set to receive a combined $2.7 million, according to a news release. The Greene County Commission yesterday approved grant awards for 53 applicants in the categories of small businesses, nonprofit and community organizations, taxpayer-supported entities and educational institutions.

The chamber was the top recipient in the small-business category, followed by Minorities in Business, which is slated to receive $15,000 to cover expenses related to payroll and a webinar series.

Chamber President Matt Morrow said in a statement to Springfield Business Journal that its grant would cover technology expenses such as video updates, virtual programs and online resources that are provided to its business members at no charge.

"Over the past five months, chamber staff have logged more than 2,300 interactions with members," he said in the statement. "The CARES Act grant will enable the chamber to continue serving its members and the business community as many still struggle with challenges related to COVID-19 restrictions, safety protocols and workforce disruptions.

"Importantly, significant funding still is available for other small businesses, and we will continue to advocate on their behalf and encourage those small businesses that qualify to apply for and receive relief funding."

Chamber officials previously said chambers of commerce were not eligible for forgivable federal loans through the Paycheck Protection Program. Elwood said the county CARES Act funding would not directly support payroll at the chamber.

During the latest funding round this week, the county approved $703,004 for small businesses, on top of $70,000 last week. Greene County is setting aside $6.5 million for small-business grants as part of the $34.4 million received from the federal government, according to past Springfield Business Journal reporting.

County commissioners gave the green light yesterday to issue $1.4 million to nonprofits and community organizations, $501,858 to taxpayer-supported entities and $68,264 to educational institutions, according to the release.

The county has disbursed more than $22 million in four rounds of CARES Act grants, according to past reporting. It has until year's end to distribute the full amount.

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