Montgomery County to distribute $40 mil to small businessses

Montgomery County to distribute $40 mil to small businessses

MONTGOMERY COUNTY — Montgomery County leaders are working to quickly get in place a program to distribute $40 million in stimulus money to small business, and tens of millions more in funding for citizens.

News Center 7 previously reported the county had received $92 million from the federal government as part of the CARES Act passed by Congress earlier this year, with the county working under a Dec. 31, 2020 deadline to distribute the money.

But Montgomery County Commissioner Judy Dodge acknowledged the need to get the money distributed long before that deadline.

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“(Every local business) is just keeping their fingers crossed that they can even stay open for another week, Dodge said. “So we’re really pushing to keep this thing open as quickly as possible.”

On top of the $40 million for small businesses, Montgomery County plans to distribute other funds to other citizens, for uses including rent, health care, education, and agriculture.

County leaders have set up an office, and are working to establish criteria and a system to allow businesses and citizens to apply for and receive the stimulus money.

Dodge said each grant, whether for business or private citizens, will have spending criteria attached to it, and the county must follow state and federal guidelines to ensure the money is spent correctly.

The grant money figures to be a substantial boost to Montgomery County businesses, such as Little Exchange in Oakwood. The small shop donates its profits to Dayton Children’s. But President Cathy Brown said profits have been hard to come by, with the storefront closed for months due to the pandemic, with sales down “many, many double digits.”

“We just want to continue what we’ve been doing in the past, in this new environment,” Brown said.

Dodge said the county hopes to have its CARES Act funding program fully operational in June.