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SB Wednesday: a small business grant program offers much needed relief

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BLUEFIELD, W.Va (WVVA) - WVVA is helping to answer your questions about small business loans, unemployment, taxes, businesses reopening, and more. Every Wednesday at 5 p.m., John O'Neal, Executive Director of the Mercer County Economic Development Authority, is helping to answer questions.

On Tuesday, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice announced the WV CARES Act, a Small Business Grant Program which will provide West Virginia's small businesses, the backbone of the West Virginia economy, much needed relief.

O'Neal elaborated on this program, saying the following:

The WV Small Business Grant program makes up to $5,000 available to West Virginia small businesses that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is a grant to eligible businesses in the Mountain State that have suffered losses during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

There are a number of eligibility issues: the business must be a for-profit business. WV must be the principle place of business, and the business must have been operating here as of March 1, 2020.

The business must have between 1 and 35 full time employees (at least 1 of which is not also an owner of the business).

The business must be in good standing with the State Tax Department and WorkForce West Virginia, and not be in violation of any state order or decree, such as mine safety, or DEP citations.

WVVA asked O'Neal: "are there restrictions on the use of these funds, or eligible expenses?"

"Yes, there are a number of restrictions, and conditions on eligible expenses. First, the expenses and/or losses must be a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Eligible expenses and losses include direct out of pocket expenses, such as purchases of PPE for staff and costs of re-stocking inventory in order to reopen, as well as losses due to business closures, reduced sales, or suspended operations.

For more information:

A complete list of eligible expenses and losses is available on the Governor's website.

Applications for the WV CARES Act Small Business Grant Program can be submitted through September 30, 2020.A detailed list of eligibility requirements and the application process can be found here.

Melinda Zosh

Evening Anchor and Producer

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