BELTON — A second round of relief money for businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic may soon help businesses in the county that previously did not receive aid.
The Bell County Commissioners Court heard an update Monday from the Central Texas Council of Governments on a second round of grants for local businesses. This new round of grants for businesses plans to use $1 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act funds to help those who didn’t receive funds last year.
Last September, the county gave out about $800,000 in grants to help 57 local businesses, using federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act money.
James Stafford, spokesman for the county, said officials are reaching out to those who didn’t get grants last year despite qualifying.
“The grants will go to those businesses that applied the first time around, and were found to be eligible, but for whom there were not sufficient funds to give them grants last time,” Stafford said. “So they are not accepting new applications.”
The new round of grants, similar to the first round, aim to help locally owned small businesses deemed non-essential during the first state shutdown and were forced to close their doors or reduce operations.
Stafford said each business applying for the grants are eligible to receive up to $15,000 in aid.
Uryan Nelson, who works for the council of governments, said the final list of businesses to receive the grants has not been decided yet. The council also helped the county during the first round of grants last year.
Nelson said the remaining businesses that qualify for the grants would use up about $973,000 of the funds.
“There are two that there may be requests for reconsideration coming,” Nelson said. “Just because, in the initial round of grants that we did, they were classified as a business that the Commissioners Court chose to not make eligible, and they have provided additional information.”
Nelson said he hopes to have a recommendation of what businesses to give the grant money to by the Commissioner Court meeting on Nov. 1.
After receiving a list of qualifying businesses, Stafford said the county plans to approve the funding by the middle of November.