EDC to provide $200K to Wood County small businesses affected by COVID19

COVID-19 funding for East Texas small business owners

WOOD COUNTY Texas (KLTV) - The Wood County Economic Development Commission is providing $200,000 in COVID-19 relief funds for local small businesses within the county.

KLTV’s Dante Nuñez spoke with one small business owner who will be applying for this aid.

Local small businesses in Wood County have until July 3rd to submit an application for the county’s COVID-19 relief fund.

Among the requirements, they must have less than 50 employees, and make less than 7 million dollars in gross annual revenue.

Owner of Shelia’s barbershop in Mineola, Shelia Kennedy says, this money comes at a crucial time.

“It’s very needed…the importance of that program is wonderful…there’s so many businesses here that can benefit from that. Businesses that are on the verge of shutting their doors because they can’t come back from it.”

The money is being divided up into wood county’s six largest cities and also the unincorporated county.

The executive director of the Wood County Economic Development Commission program, Roger Johnson explains where this money comes from.

“The money that we have comes from tax dollars and so you have to be careful with it for the people of wood county. So, we’re very conscientious about watching how we give the money and who we give it too.”

Funds are not to be used to replace lost salaries of business owners or managers, but can be used for employees, contract labor, supplier payments, rent or mortgage, and utilities.

The money can also be used to buy PPE and cleaning equipment.

“For my particular business, it would help me kind of get caught up but there’s other businesses that won’t be able to without it”

If the business owner owns more than one business, they can apply up to three businesses.

For those interested in applying, Johnson says you can visit your city’s Economic Development Council for an application or your city’s Chamber of Commerce building.


From the Wood County Economic Development Commission:

WOOD COUNTY’S CORONAVIRUS RELIEF FUND

General Information:

The Wood County Economic Development Commission (WCEDC) is allocating funds to assist businesses in Wood County manage the economic hardships being endured as a result of the Covid 19 pandemic. Recognizing that there are various federal, state and local programs that exist to assist businesses in specific areas of operations such as payroll, the WCEDC will focus its distribution as a resource to provide general financial assistance to be used at the discretion of the business to keep its operation viable.

The WCEDC will initially distribute up to $200,000 of funds to be allocated to businesses located in the communities as listed below in the general guidelines.

Eligibility:

The general Eligibility and Guidelines are as follows:

1) Each Wood County Incorporated community will receive up to the allocated amount as follows:

a. Mineola businesses up to $20,000, Winnsboro businesses up to $15,000 and Quitman businesses up to $10,000.

b. Alba, Hawkins and Yantis businesses – up to $5000 each ($15,000 total)

c. Requests from unincorporated areas of the County - up to $20,000

d. $10,000 will be allocated for area Chambers of Commerce who will request funds based on needs.

e. $10,000 plus any unallocated funds is discretionary and available to supplement any businesses located in Wood County based on need and per the guidelines.

2) The WCEDC requests that the EDC’s collect requests from their communities and make recommendations to the WCEDC. For communities without an EDC, the request is that the City Manager / City Secretary Adminstrator oversee the distribution recommendations.

3) For businesses located in an unincorporated area of the County, requests should be mailed to: The Wood County Economic Development Commission, rjohnson@mywoodcounty.com

4) Eligibility

a. The business must be located in Wood County.

b. The business must be able to illustrate financial hardship as a result of the COVID 19 pandemic.

c. Incorporated Communities are instructed to prioritize recommended businesses in their communities that have not received funds from other local grants or sources. The WCEDC will consider deviating from that guideline for special cases.

d. To receive any funds from this program, the requesting business must not have any delinquent Federal, State or Local taxes due or any unpaid judgments.

5) The WCEDC will make payments directly to the businesses upon review and approval of the requests.

6) This program is subject to change or cancellation at any time. Payments from the WCEDC are not guaranteed until a check has been received from the WCEDC.

7) Recipients are subject to audit on the use of funds and will be required to return funds if expenses are not associated with COVID 19 hardship.

8) Funds are not to be used to replace lost income or salaries of business owners or managers.

9) With the exception of area Chambers of Commerce, non-profits do not qualify for this program unless directly involved with building commerce for Wood County businesses and then at the discretion of the WCEDC.

10) Any requests that could have the potential for Conflict of Interest is subject to review by the Wood County Auditor.

Guidelines:

· 50 Employees or fewer

· No more than $7 Million in Gross Annual Revenue

· If an owner has more than one business, the owner is eligible for application for up to three businesses (all businesses must be located in Wood County).

· Applications and required documentation will be reviewed by WCEDC and applicant will receive an email indicating approval or denial or did not meet qualifications.

· Checks will be issued to qualifying applicants by Wood County Accounts Payable.

· The application will be open from Wednesday June 22 at 12 p.m. CST to Friday July 3 at 12 p.m. CST.

· A business receiving grant funding may be notified via email on or about July 10th.

Application process includes:

· Good Faith Certification as to truth and accuracy of information provided

· That the grant request is necessary due to conditions caused by COVID 19

· Agreement to audit the use of grant funds received

· Agreement to claw-back provisions if funds are used for ineligible purposes

· Unsworn Declaration of Owner

Types of Businesses:

· Corporation

· Individual

· Sole proprietorship

· Single-member limited liability company (LLC)

· LLC treated as a partnership

· LLC – C corporation

· LLC – S corporation

· Partnership

Eligible Uses of Grant Proceeds:

· Payroll costs for employees

· Contract labor

· Supplier payments

· Rent, lease or interest on mortgage payment (for real property used for business purposes, like storefront or warehouse, excluding personal residence.)

· Rent, lease or purchase payment for business property (e.g., delivery vehicle; food truck; kitchen equipment; technology, payment, and communications systems and equipment)

· Utility payments for business properties, excluding personal residence.

· Cost of critical business operations (raw materials, marketing expenses, etc. payments)

· PPE and sanitation supplies and equipment

· Interest on other business debt obligations incurred before March 1, 2020, excluding personal residence.

Documents Required:

· Documentation of business (Choose one of the following in each category)

· Secretary of State Texas File number; State of Texas License number; DBA, 2018 or 2019 tax return (including all schedules); Employer Identification Number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (Example: Occupational License, Sales Tax Certificate)

· Certificate of Filing. If sole proprietor, provide documentation on when business started.

· Drivers’ license or state-issued ID

· Most recent payroll report and number of employees – 1st QTR 941 for 2020

Ineligible Businesses:

· Non-Profits, with exceptions listed in section 9, Eligibility.

· Sexually/Adult-Oriented Businesses

· Lobbying organizations and political organizations subject to Internal Revenue Code 527

· Gambling Concerns, including casinos, racing operations or other activities whose purpose involves gambling

· Concerns engaged in illegal activities under federal, state or local laws

· A business that is otherwise prohibited by federal or Texas law

· A business that is ineligible or precluded to receive federal or State of Texas funding due to federal laws (including but not limited to the CARES Act) or Texas laws

· Businesses that have judgments or liens held by local, state, or federal government (tax liens, etc.) and/or are delinquent in payments due for fines, fees, penalties, etc.

·

Frequently Asked Questions

My business received PPP funding. Am I still eligible for a Wood County Coronavirus Relief Fund grant?

Yes, businesses that received PPP funding are eligible for Wood County Coronavirus Relief Fund grants. Wood County Coronavirus Relief Fund grant amounts will not take PPP funding into account; however, when reporting on the expenditure of Wood County Coronavirus Relief Funds, businesses should not include expenses that were covered by PPP funds.

What documentation do I need for proof of the existence of my business?

The county only needs to receive one document that proves the existence of a business. That document may be the Secretary of State of Texas File number, State of Texas License number, DBA, or a tax return. It is not necessary to provide more than one of these documents.

My business has locations in Wood County and other counties. Do I qualify for the Wood County Coronavirus Relief Fund grant program?

Yes, if your business meets the other criteria, you will qualify.

How do I prove how long I have been in business?

Provide your Certificate of Filing with the Secretary of State. If you do not have it, you can find it on the Texas Secretary of State website at https://direct.sos.state.tx.us/acct/acct-login.asp If you are a sole proprietor, you can provide a DBA, first state bank statement, first income tax or sales tax filing, or a professional license.

Will there be additional funds added to this program?

Possibly. Wood County Commissioner’s Court is in the process of confirming the allowed uses for funds provided through the CARES Act and may earmark portions of the fund to help Wood County small businesses.

Will I be notified whether or not my application is approved for a grant?

Yes. We will notify all applicants on whether they are approved for a grant, may still be considered for future grants or have been disqualified for ineligibility.

Do I need to file all of these documents?

Yes. These documents are necessary to ensure all applicants meet the required eligibility to receive grants. These same documents are required by many state and federal grant programs.

How soon will these grants be awarded?

Wood County will work to turn around grant funds quickly upon the conclusion of the 10 day submission period. The intent is to issue grants on or about July 24, 2020.

Who can I call to answer some of the questions I have about this application?

Wood County has designated the Wood County Economic Development Commission as the entity that will be available to assist you, at anytime day or night seven days a week. If there is no answer please leave your contact information on voice mail.

Please call 903-768-2402. You can also send questions via email to WCEDC Executive Director Roger Johnson, rjohnson@mywoodcounty.com

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