Deadline for county CARES Act grants extended

The deadline for Grays Harbor County small business grant applications has been extended through Sept. 30, and nonprofit groups have been added to the list of eligible applicants.

Jenna Amsbury, clerk of the board of county commissioners, said nonprofits with fewer than 50 employees can now apply for the grants.

Earlier this year commissioners announced the grants of up to $10,000 for small businesses and now nonprofits through the county’s federal CARES Act approved funds of about $5 million. Commissioners have pledged $1.5 million in grants, which recipients do not need to pay back, to businesses and nonprofits that have suffered economic losses due to COVID-19 closures and other restrictions.

As of Monday, the county has awarded 72 businesses a total of $631,497.23 in CARES Act grants, according to Mark Cox, county Director of Utilities, Facilities, and Community Development. Those funds went first to businesses that had not received any aid from sources outside the county, such as City of Aberdeen CARES Act small business grants or other relief.

Today, commissioners will consider 30 applications for a total of $268,853, said Cox. These applicants include those who have received other COVID-19-related funding from city, state and federal sources. Of those 30, the majority have requested the top end of allowable funding, $10,000, and in most cases, the county .09 Funding Committee, which vets the applications, has recommended commissioners approve the amounts requested by the businesses.

Cox said currently the committee has about 100 more applications to review and process, with more applications likely with the extension and inclusion now of nonprofit groups. Applications are available online at http://www.co.grays-harbor.wa.us/newslist.php.