By BRET BEVENS
Southern Ohio Today
JACKSON – Jackson County Economic Development Partnership Executive Director Sam Brady joined Tuesday’s meeting of the Jackson County Board of Commissioners to outline the impacts grants from CARES Act funding is having on small businesses.
The commissioners previously established the program to provide grants of up to $5,000 to eligible small businesses.
“I believe we’ve been able to support 17 different businesses across the county,” Brady said. “We were able to support those 17 businesses for just less than $80,000 in total support.”
Commissioner Jon Hensler said they allowed applicants ample time to provide additional supporting documentation, given the parameters of the program outlined by the Ohio Department of Budgetary Management.
“We looked at every creative way possible to fund the requests that were given,” Commissioner Jon Hensler said. “We were definitely not in the business of denying individuals. We looked for ways to help.”
Brady said the cooperation among his group, the commissioners and other county offices was critical in the process.
“I want to thank Commissioner Hensler and Auditor (Tiffany) Ridgeway for their support,” Brady said. “It was a great team effort. Amanda (Williams), in our office, worked overtime trying to go through receipts and invoices for these companies just to give them every opportunity to leverage these funds as far as we could.”
Hensler thanked Jackson County Economic Development Partnership, Brady and Williams for facilitating the program.
Brady said if there is another federal stimulus he thinks the county should again provide the grants to businesses, giving first preference to businesses that did not receive money the first time around.
In a somewhat related item, Hensler read a release that Gov. Mike DeWine released Thursday. The release states that the state will be sending $200,000 to local health departments to help with the pandemic.
“Each department will receive $200,000 and will have the flexibility to determine how to best use the funds as they see fit to fight COVID-19.
The remaining money will be used to hire contact tracers to support local health departments. Contact tracers will deploy where needed across the state to assist in identifying individuals who may have been exposed to COVID-19 and prevent further spread.
In other news, Brady said he had been working with the prosecutor and the commissioners had a resolution to establish Jackson County as an “Alternative Energy Zone.”
“This resolution would give the commissioners taxation authority over any alternative energy investment in the county,” Brady said. “This (resolution) actually establishes taxation parameters, which the commissioners would negotiate with any prospect looking to do so in the county. This is Jackson County preparing itself to be a player in alternative energy.”