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County awards $760K in first ARPA funding round for small businesses

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The Greene County Commission today approved just over $760,000 in the first American Rescue Plan Act funding round for small businesses financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Neighbor’s Mill Bakery & Cafe is the largest recipient, with allocations for both of its Springfield restaurants, according to a news release. The company's 1435 E. Independence St. cafe was selected for $26,250, and its second spot at 1301 E. Sunshine St., Ste 120, was picked for $19,250, a total of $45,500.

"We're thankful for any kind of assistance that we can get, but also we're putting those funds to good use," Neighbor's Mill co-owner Clif Brown said this morning. "With COVID happening and with paying our employees higher wages and obviously the cost of goods going up, that has all affected everything."

He said the funding awarded by the county largely would go toward payroll expenses and cost of goods.

The largest single award announced this morning is $31,500 for home health care company In Home Solutions LLC, according to the release.

Additional small businesses coming in at or above the $20,000 level are Chill-Pak, at $24,250; Farmers Gastropub, at $20,000; Pearson-Kelly Technology, at $28,750; and Triad Lodging LLC, at $23,000. Editor's note: The full list of recipients is attached with the images above.

The Greene County Commission and ARPA team focused on small businesses with 50 employees or fewer in the first round of COVID-19 stimulus funding. The average number of employees for the businesses is 10.

“The commission believes that our small businesses are the foundation of our community’s economy,” Presiding Commissioner Bob Dixon said in the release. “They employ our citizens and pay taxes which fund vital services. It made sense to make small-business relief a cornerstone of our recovery efforts.”

In the first round, the commission allocated $23 million of the $57 million it was granted through ARPA, according to past reporting. In that funding round announced last month, the largest amount was granted to Burrell Behavioral Health, with $5.3 million to put toward a mental health crisis center for people under 18 years old.

The commission has set aside $20.4 million for collaboration projects, $12 million for nonprofits, $10.2 million for countywide projects and $8 million for small businesses, with the remainder being held in reserves, according to past reporting.

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