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Marion launches small business grant application
City will give $450,000 in federal aid to small businesses affected by COVID-19 pandemic
MARION — The city has officially launched a small business grant program that uses federal pandemic relief money from the American Rescue Plan Act.
The Business Innovation and Support Grant is for small businesses in Marion that “have navigated the hardships of the COVID-19 pandemic,” according to a Tuesday news release from the city.
Around $450,000 of ARPA funds will be used for the grants after the Marion City Council approved the allocation earlier this year.
The grant is designed to provide financial relief on a matching basis for “innovation, expansion and growth to Marion businesses,” the release said.
“Our small business entrepreneurs were significantly impacted by the pandemic,” City Manager Ryan Waller said in a statement. “The program aims to not only help them recuperate some of their losses but also encourages them to use this as a catalyst to take their business to the next level.”
The grants will be for small businesses with one to 10 employees. The grant provides funding ranging from $5,500 to $15,500, and each award comes with up to five hours of “mandatory business counseling” by a pre-approved business coach.
“Small businesses are the backbone of our local economy,” Uptown Marion Main Street Director Brook Prouty said in a statement. “The events of 2020 and the continual effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have either delayed plans for businesses or created daily operational hurdles. We are pleased to partner with the city and support local businesses this way.”
The American Rescue Plan Act, signed into law last year by President Joe Biden, provides $350 billion in assistance for state and local governments to meet pandemic response needs. Marion received a total of $6 million from the program.
Last week, the Marion City Council unanimously approved allocating a little more than $4 million in ARPA funding toward sanitary sewer and water infrastructure projects.
About $3.5 million will go toward the Marion sanitary sewer projects, while $600,000 will go toward water infrastructure improvements.
Applications for the small business grants will be accepted until the funds have been exhausted. The application is available online.
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