For immediate release
Applications now being accepted for Washington County CARES Act funds
Businesses can apply for grants
WASHINGTON COUNTY—The Washington County Commission has received $2,901,323 in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic (CARES) Act, and is now ready to begin accepting applications from cities, political subdivisions, public agencies and businesses for reimbursable COVID-19 expenses that they have incurred, beginning March 1, 2020. The county can reimburse costs up to Dec. 30. Any funds not spent must be returned to the U.S. Treasury.
Meramec Regional Planning Commission has been assisting Washington County and the other seven counties in the Meramec Region review the act, develop an application and administrative process that would meet audit requirements. MRPC staff will be handling the grant administration for Washington County.
MRPC has created a webpage on its website where Washington County application information can be found no later than Monday, June 15, 2020. That URL is https://www.meramecregion.org/cares-act-funding-opportunity-for-meramec-counties/.
“We are thankful for the funds, and my hope is to help as many businesses as possible,” said Washington County Presiding Commissioner Dave Sansegraw. “Small business is essential to our county and we want them all to be successful. We chose MRPC to handle grant administration because of their knowledge and professional ability to help us through this process.”
Disbursement of CARES Act funds must be directly related to expenses from COVID-19 incurred during the period that begins March 1 and ends December 30, and for local governments and public entities, those expenses were not accounted for in the budget most recently approved as of March 27.
Washington County has earmarked $500,000 for public entities and $500,000 for county expenditures. Another $500,000 has been earmarked for business grants. Each request is limited to $25,000. Each applicant must complete a certification form, where they agree to comply with funding requirements, including repaying the reimbursement grant if the expenditure is deemed ineligible in the future.
For local governments and public entities, reimbursable expenses can include payroll expenses for public safety, public health and health care, expenses to improve telework capabilities and expenses of providing paid sick and paid family and medical leave to public employees. The application asks for contact information and detailed description of the cost incurred and how they are COVID-19 related. The form also provides a list of eligible expenditure, and applicants are encouraged to review that list before applying. Applicants will then list expenses on an application spreadsheet and attach invoices and proof of payment. County entities will be required to complete reimbursement requests.
Washington County is also offering a business grant program. Per the CARES Act, the county may pay expenditures related to the provision of grants to small businesses to reimburse the costs of business interruption caused by required closures.
A separate application has been created for business requests and businesses must provide documentation to support their requests. Businesses will have to provide a copy of valid business license (city and county), past tax records for 2019, profit/loss statement for 2020 prepared by accountant or tax professional, completed w-9 and other documentation depending on the request. For example, copies of paystubs for employee relief, copies of current utility bills and copies of last rent/mortgage payment should be included if requesting grant funds for those costs. Businesses seeking funding must have been in business prior to Feb. 29, 2020.
Nonprofits will be eligible to apply for direct COVID-19 related expenses through the public entity application and expenses related to loss of revenue or impacts to the business due to COVID-19 via the business application.
Washington County reimbursement requests will be directed to Kelly Sink at MRPC, where staff will review the application, make sure the request is eligible for funding and verify that the documentation meets the requirements for a Single Audit. A verified application will then be forwarded to the Washington County Commission for review and approval. Those that are approved will be forwarded to the county treasurer for payment to the applicant. MRPC staff will maintain files for the county and track all requests and expenditures.
Persons with questions about Washington County grant can contact Kelly Sink at MRPC at 573-265-2993 or by email at Kellysb@meramecregion.org.
Combined, counties in the Meramec Region have been awarded a total of $23,278,689. The state of Missouri passed out a total of $520,925,478 to counties within the state. Funding distribution was based on population.
For more information, visit treasurer.mo.gov/COVID.
Formed in 1969, MRPC is a voluntary council of governments serving Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries, Osage, Phelps, Pulaski and Washington counties and their respective cities. Gasconade County Presiding Commissioner Larry Miskel serves as chairman of the board. A professional staff of 34 offers technical assistance and services, such as grant preparation and administration, housing assistance, transportation planning, environmental planning, ordinance codification, business loans and other services to member communities.