April 3, 2020–6:35 a.m.
Last week, President Trump signed into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, bipartisan legislation crafted to provide emergency relief to workers, families, small businesses, hospitals, and health care workers nationwide.
In the CARES Act, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development received $12.4 billion to help local communities.
$258,026 in Community Development Block Grant funding is coming to Rome to help combat the Coronavirus.
We asked Rome City Manager Sammy Rich if there are any plans for that grant funding.
“We’ve been talking through how we can best deploy those dollars in light of how we operate,” he said. “More specifically, through our community development operation, we are an ‘entitlement community’ and so some of the areas we are looking at, specifically under economic development, is how we can deploy those dollars to help these small businesses who are really suffering right now. So, we have pitched an idea to the city commission that we are going to keep working on and fine-tuning.”
That idea of involves doing grants for small businesses.
“For example, if I am a small business owner, I could theoretically be eligible for some amount of money,” Rich said. “We have some of the finer details of how much for business, so those are some of the details we are going to have to work out. Theoretically, if you are a business, you are given this loan/grant and let’s say you maintain a certain number of employees for a designated amount of time, it would make that money and that loan forgivable.”
Rich said they hope to get the program rolled out as soon as possible.