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State to issue $72M in business, nonprofit grants

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Gov. Mike Parson announced in July he’s making $77 million of the federal coronavirus relief money available to Missouri businesses and nonprofits.

The funding will be offered in the form of a $30 million small-business grant program; a $20 million grant program to increase production of personal protection equipment; and a $22 million grant program for nonprofit relief, according to news releases from the governor’s office.

“The COVID-19 crisis has severely impacted Missouri businesses,” Parson said in a release. “However, this challenge has not stopped them from stepping up and finding new ways to serve Missourians. These critical programs will help Missouri businesses continue their operations, cover costs for increased PPE production, and keep them safe and moving forward.”

The Missouri Department of Economic Development is administering all of the grants, according to the DED website.

The Small Business Grant Program is designed to provide relief to companies and family-owned farms that employ 50 or fewer people, according to the release. The funds can be used to cover salaries amid closure or reduced business hours, facility redesign and labor, e-commerce website design and other costs necessary to help businesses bounce back from the impact of COVID-19.

The $30 million is earmarked to help businesses in the hardest-hit industries, such as retail, tourism, restaurants and health care, according to the DED. Roughly $7.5 million will be set aside for family-owned farms.

Businesses in the targeted industries are able to apply until Aug. 31, and if funds are available, companies from other industries may apply Sept. 1.

Through the second program, the state is offering $20 million in grants to assist manufacturers in purchasing equipment and upgrading or expanding facilities to increase production of PPE.

Grant amounts will be determined through a tiered approach and will not exceed $500,000, according to the DED. Nonprofits that have undertaken PPE manufacturing are also eligible for the funding.

Applications for the program close Dec. 1, and the state is expected to disperse the funding by Dec. 30.

Announced July 22, some nonprofits also are eligible for up to $250,000 through the $22 million Nonprofit Relief and Recovery Program.

Nonprofits that can apply during the first wave of applications, ending Aug. 14, must serve disadvantaged populations through homelessness prevention, job training, at-risk youth services, food insecurity, educational support and child care, according to a release. All other nonprofits can apply Aug. 19, according to the DED.

The funding can be used to cover expenses such as hazard pay for direct health care workers, testing costs, and payroll and supply expenses related to increased demand for nonprofit services.

“This virus isn’t going away, and we have to protect both the lives and the livelihoods of Missouri workers, families and children,” said DED Director Rob Dixon in a release. “We are not only reinvesting in our economy but building up the success and safety of our state over the long term.”

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