The Gasconade County Commission has now opened its CARES funding to businesses within the county.
Gasconade County received $1,725,307 in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic (CARES) Act for reimbursable COVID-19 expenses that businesses have incurred, beginning March 1, 2020. The county can reimburse costs up to Dec. 15. Any funds not spent by Dec. 30, 2020, must be returned to the U.S. Treasury.In early June, the county kicked off its public entities grant reimbursement program for COVID-19 related expenses, and the county is now offering a business grant program. Per the CARES Act, the county may pay expenditures related to the provision of grants to small businesses to reimburse the costs of business interruption caused by required closures. The county has set aside $700,000 for business grants.
A separate application has been created for business requests, and businesses must provide documentation to support their requests. Businesses will have to provide a copy of valid business license (city and county), past tax records for 2019, profit/loss statement for 2020 prepared by accountant or tax professional, completed w-9 and other documentation depending on the request. For example, copies of pay stubs for employee relief, copies of current utility bills and copies of last rent/mortgage payments should be included if requesting grant funds for those costs. Businesses seeking funding must have been in business prior to Feb. 29, 2020. Businesses with 20 or more employees can request up to $50,000 and businesses with less than 20 employees can request up to $30,000. Non-profits are eligible for up to $25,000 in funding as well. Applications for reimbursement are due to MRPC no later than Dec. 10, 2020.
MRPC has created a webpage on its website where Gasconade County application information for both businesses and public entities can be found. That URL is https://www.meramecregion.org/cares-act-funding-opportunity-for-meramec-counties/.
Meramec Regional Planning Commission has been assisting Gasconade County and the other seven counties in the Meramec Region review the act, develop an application and administrative process that would meet audit requirements. MRPC staff will be handling the grant administration for Gasconade County.
“At this time, the county is not reimbursing lost revenue as the Treasury guidance is not specific on the eligibility of those costs,” explained Bonnie Prigge, MRPC executive director. “The county can reimburse those expenses that the business incurred and had to pay even though they were partially or totally closed – such as utility bills, rents or mortgage payments, insurance bills and other costs that were not covered through other Federal CARES Act programs. This could change in the future if additional guidance is received.”
Each applicant must complete a certification form, where they agree to comply with funding requirements, including repaying the reimbursement grant if the expenditure is deemed ineligible in the future. The application asks for contact information and detailed description of the cost incurred and how they are COVID-19 related. The form also provides a list of eligible expenditures, and applicants are encouraged to review that list before applying.
Gasconade County reimbursement requests will be directed to Kelly Sink at MRPC, where staff will review the application, make sure the request is eligible for funding and verify that the documentation meets the requirements for a single audit. A verified application will then be forwarded to the Gasconade County Commission for review and approval. Those that are approved will be forwarded to the county treasurer for payment to the applicant. MRPC staff will maintain files for the county and track all requests and expenditures.
Persons with questions about Gasconade County grant can contact Sink at MRPC at (573) 265-2993 or by email at Kellysb@meramecregion.org.
Combined, counties in the Meramec Region have been awarded a total of $23,278,689. The state of Missouri passed out a total of $520,925,478 to counties within the state. Funding distribution was based on population. The state of Missouri is also offering reimbursement grants with its CARES Act funds.
For more information, visit treasurer.mo.gov/COVID.
Formed in 1969, MRPC is a voluntary council of governments serving Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries, Osage, Phelps, Pulaski and Washington counties and their respective cities. Gasconade County Presiding Commissioner Larry Miskel serves as chairman of the board. A professional staff of 34 offers technical assistance and services, such as grant preparation and administration, housing assistance, transportation planning, environmental planning, ordinance codification, business loans and other services to member communities.