Savannah City Council updated on second round of CARES Act funding after application process closes

Savannah City Council updated on second round of CARES Act funding after application process closes

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Savannah City Council members got an overview Thursday on how CARES Act money earmarked to help small businesses has been distributed so far.

The report comes just a few days after the portal for round two closed. The need was still huge, even after millions in grants were distributed in round one.

According to the city manager, the 430 or so applications submitted online by small business owners around the City of Savannah in round two asked for about $7 million. We know there will only be about $1.6 million to go around this round, and that the Small Business Assistance Corporation will be spending the next few weeks vetting the businesses who applied, to determine which ones will get up to $20,000 in assistance.

The city gave new parameters to the SBAC on what businesses should be prioritized, to give an advantage to those with five or fewer employees, those minority-owned and those in disadvantaged areas.

City Manager Pat Monahan told City Council the number of businesses estimated to be helped between rounds one and two of CARES Act funding distribution.

“We’re estimating depending upon the amount of the grant, somewhere between an additional 80 to 100 businesses. Which would mean the City of Savannah helped approximately 150 businesses with its COVID relief program,” Monahan said.

The City had issue with how quickly the funding went in the first round. As a result, Mayor Johnson sent a letter to the SBAC calling on them to give back roughly $60,000 in fees they collected through the distribution of CARES Act funding.

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