In the Johnson County Fiscal Court’s regular meeting Monday, Jan. 11, Johnson County Judge-Executive Mark McKenzie said that applications have been processed and that 69 small businesses in Johnson County have qualified for the grants.

That, he said, means that $241,500 in Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding will be distributed to Johnson County business owners.

“We did want to update everyone on the small business grant relief, the second round of that, which this court approved funding to support our small businesses through the CARES money that the Governor allocated to Johnson County by population,” McKenzie said. “In that second round, we had 69 qualifying small businesses receiving $3,500 each. So, it was a very successful second round of funding.”

McKenzie referenced his earlier COVID-19 update, stating that the large turnout for the relief grants demonstrates that businesses are still feeling the effects of the pandemic.

“I think it just (demonstrates) what we said a moment ago about the COVID impact. These businesses are still in need and, hopefully, this will (help.) I’m certain it will not make them whole, but, hopefully, it will give them some support that they need on some of their very basic expenses,” McKenzie said.

The notification process had already begun as of the time of the meeting, McKenzie said, through emails to applicants, of which he said only “three or four” did not meet the criteria for the funding, although he did not mention what criteria were not met.

“Emails have gone out to all the qualifying applicants and if you are watching this meeting and you did not receive an email, please contact us,” McKenzie said. “We also had three or four that applied that did not qualify and we will be sending emails out the them tomorrow to let them know, as well.”

Commissioner Mike Jarrell said the first round of funding was given to more than 40 applicants and McKenzie and he agreed that it was a good thing to see more than 100 Johnson County businesses receive the funding.

“So, that tells you that we have at least over 100 businesses that have been able to receive some support through the fiscal court and through this CARES funding,” McKenzie said.

McKenzie said the fiscal court is happy to be able to offer some support to local small business owners.

“Generally, it was a very successful effort, and so, those businesses — obviously, we were happy to be able to support those businesses with some small business grant funding,” McKenzie said. “I know that this court was 100-percent in support of helping our small businesses and I think that’s wonderful. I think that that’s what we should do and so, thank you all for all of that support.”

According to McKenzie, the court is also preparing to release further information as to how CARES Act money was used in the community at a later meeting.

“In the future, we will give more information, at a later meeting, on how the additional funds from CARES were used to benefit this community,” McKenzie said. “The reason I say we’ll do that at a later meeting is, we’re compiling all of that information now, we have to file reports with the Department of Local Government to get reimbursement for everything that the county spends or uses of it that’s a qualifying expense. So, we’re working on gathering that now, so, we’ll give you the full report on that in the future.”

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