MORGANTOWN — New and existing businesses based in Morgantown are encouraged to apply for the new Small Business Assistance Grant through the City of Morgantown. The grant, developed in partnership with the Small Business Administration, is designed to assist businesses that were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic’s economic impact, as well as entice new businesses that may not have opened due to the pandemic.
A pool of $500,000 was appropriated for the Small Business Assistance Grant program by the City of Morgantown. The funding comes from the city’s first installment of the federal American Rescue Plan (ARP), passed by U.S. Congress earlier this year. The Small Business Assistance Grant is one of several grant programs the city plans to implement through its ARP Action Plan.
For the Small Business Assistance Grant, each applicant may receive grants of up to $20,000. Eligible businesses include existing and new businesses located in Morgantown city limits with priority given to those in the downtown and Wharf districts. Applicants must show that the funding is necessary for the business to remain in operation or to operate successfully in the “era of COVID” and that the business continues to be financially impacted by the pandemic.
The business must be up to date on all local taxes, fees and licensing and must be able to provide a Federal Employment Identification Number.
“We’re nearly two years into a global pandemic and businesses are still in need of assistance,” said Morgantown City Manager Kim Haws. “Because of this, we’ve identified business assistance as one of the top priorities in our ARP Action Plan. This pandemic doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon and part of our commitment to the business community is to be part of the solution, to aid and invest in their success.”
The application includes sections for business information, financial information and grant use information. A committee will review and score each application for completeness and strength. Depending on the number of applications and available funds, applications may be scored against other applications. Applications will be scored, at a minimum, on the following criteria:
- Feasibility of proposal;
- Extent to which grant will help address an acute business need or help a business owner implement innovative solutions to address COVID-19-related challenges;
- Opportunity for other businesses to learn from work;
- Business’ contribution to the local community;
- How the grant will help improve the viability of business; and
- Strength of letters of support and other supporting documents.
More information and application requirements can be found at morgantownwv.gov/ARPA.