In a recent press release, the City of Medina in Ohio announced they had set aside $200,000 from its American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to help the city’s small businesses and microbusinesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Out of the total fund, $50,000 will go to microbusinesses and $150,000 to small businesses. Microbusinesses refer to businesses with no more than ten full-time people, while small businesses have less than 50 employees and under 3 million in revenue in 2021.
The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), enacted on March 11, 2021, offers the nation a $1.9 trillion economic boost. Thirty-five million dollars ($35 million) will go to Medina County over the next two years to distribute and invest in the county.
The lifeblood of the American economy is small businesses, utilizing about half of the country’s labor force recently and containing more than 99% of all companies. Businesses closed at a rate of 25% to 33% higher than average.
During the first year of the pandemic, with particularly substantial losses in full-service restaurants and other high-contact sectors, small businesses saw greater closure rates than big companies. Until today, these businesses continue to experience the pandemic’s tremendous economic effects. McKinsey’s US Small Business Pulse Survey unveiled that 58% of minority-owned small businesses are “very anxious” about the future of their company.
With the small business grants, the City of Medina hopes they can help their local businesses get back on their feet. Successful applicants must use the grant to address staff hiring, rehiring, and retention problems. Associated costs like transportation, daycare, training, wages, and benefits are also allowed. However, reimbursement to the city will be necessary if funds are not used properly.
Businesses who apply for the grant must have suffered adverse effects due to the pandemic, registered with the Ohio Secretary of State and the Regional Income Tax Agency, and meet other eligibility requirements (RITA). The applicant must also be current on all property taxes and city fees and carry active liability insurance.
See section one of the Regulation for more requirements: Program Guidelines.
The American Rescue Plan Act is ultimately more than merely a rescue strategy. With the ARPA, local expenditure tactics and policies can be reviewed in order to align with new post-pandemic norms, strengthen local communities, and instill a renewed sense of civic pride.