Cobb County Government is partnering with SelectCobb to provide relief to small businesses that have been devastated by the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Small Business Relief Grant has been established to assist businesses of up to 100 employees with various operational and overhead expenses. The program will be funded by way of a portion of the County’s disbursement of funding via the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. These funds are intended to be used by communities to deal with the impacts of COVID-19. The Cobb County Board of Commissioners has allocated $50 million to be disbursed by SelectCobb to small businesses impacted by the pandemic. The information below will assist companies in learning about the grant tiers, eligible uses of funds, eligibility criteria, the application process, the required memorandum of understanding, and details on how grant monies will be disbursed.
Each application will be reviewed by SelectCobb staff to ensure that all eligibility requirements are met. All eligible applications will then be reviewed by an independent committee responsible for selecting grant recipients.
Applications will be accepted until June 26 at 5 p.m. This is not a first come, first served application. ALL applications submitted by the deadline and meet the requirements will be considered.
Frequently Asked Questions and recorded workshops on how to complete your application can be found below. Any additional questions will be answered by the SelectCobb team at email@example.com or 770-859-2364.
Grant Tiers & Eligible Uses
Funding will be available in three different tiers based upon the number of full-time, W-2 employees at the company as of March 12, 2020. Eligibility will be verified via the submitted 941 IRS Form, Employers Quarterly Federal Tax Return. The tiers are as follows:
- 1 to 10 employees – up to $20,000
- 11 to 50 employees – up to $30,000
- 51 to 100 employees – up to $40,000
A detailed description of how the funds will be used must be included with each application submittal. Grant funds may be used for the following:
- No less than 60% of the grant funds must be spent on personnel for rehiring and/or maintaining full time W-2 employees; and
- 40% of the grant funds may be used on other COVID-19 business related impacts and costs, including, but not limited to;
- Rent/leases/equipment rental;
- Utility payments;
- Inventory purchases;
- PPE and other supplies/costs to ensure employee and customer safety.
The following are the basic eligibility requirements for applicants to be considered for grant funding through the SelectCobb Small Business Relief Grant. SelectCobb staff will review each application to ensure that all eligibility requirements are met. All eligible applications will be reviewed by an independent selection committee. It is vital for all applicants to submit the required accompanying documentation to ensure a complete application submittal. The eligibility requirements are as follows:
- No applications will be accepted after June 26, 2020 at 5:00 pm;
- Only complete applications will be considered for funding;
- Business does not need to be a member of the Cobb Chamber nor will there be any preferential consideration for Cobb Chamber members;
- Business must be an existing for-profit corporation, partnership, or sole proprietorship;
- Business headquarters or primary location must be within Cobb County;
- Business must have 100 or fewer full-time, W-2 employees, i.e., employees working at least 30 hours per week or 130 hours per month;
- Business must have been in continuous operation for a minimum of 1 year prior to March 13, 2020;
- Business must have a current business license issued by Cobb County Government, City of Acworth, City of Austell, City of Kennesaw, City of Marietta, City of Powder Springs, or City of Smyrna;
- Business must be current on all local taxes;
- Business may be home-based or located in an owned or leased commercial space;
- Business must certify if they have received PPP and/or CARES Act SBA loans funds as of time of application submittal;
- Business cannot be a publicly traded company; and
- Ineligible Businesses Include: Gambling Institutions, Pyramid Investments, Real Estate Investment Firms (REITS), Adult Entertainment
The online application portal will open on Monday, June 8 at 10:00 a.m. and close on Friday, June 26 at 5:00 pm. Applications will require the following information:
- Completed online digitally signed Grant Application Form
- Copy of 2019 business tax return (IRS Forms accepted include: 1120, 1120S, 1065, Schedule C or Schedule F) or company financial statements including 2019 Balance Sheets and Profit & Loss Statements
- Copy of 2018 business tax return (IRS Forms accepted include: 1120, 1120S, 1065, Schedule C or Schedule F)
- Q4 2019 & Q1 2020 941 IRS forms (with the exception of sole proprietors with no employees)
- Payroll Register that includes 3/1/2020 and latest payroll register as of application date (with the exception of sole proprietors with no employees)
- Copy of current business license issued by Cobb County or a Cobb County municipality (Acworth, Austell, Kennesaw, Marietta, Powder Springs, or Smyrna)
- Copy of Certificate of Organization and Certificate of Existence from Georgia Secretary of State (with the exception of sole proprietors)
Once the application period closes, SelectCobb staff will review all applications to ensure eligibility. All eligible applications will be reviewed by an independent selection committee to recommend grant recipients and grant amounts, per the eligible tiers. A scoring matrix will be used to review each application so that it is a fair and equitable process. The committee will be comprised of individuals from all areas of Cobb and will include a diverse group of industries, including:
- Certified public accountants;
- Small business;
- County government;
- and others.
The committee will review applications per Commission District so that all areas are equally represented in the number of applicants selected to receive a grant. The committee will review all applications as expeditiously as possible. Once determinations are made, a public announcement of grants funds will be made by representatives of the selection committee, SelectCobb, Cobb Chamber, and Cobb County Government. Our goal is to notify grant recipients within thirty days of the application deadline.
Memorandum of Understanding and Grant Disbursement
Grant awardees will be required to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with SelectCobb to ensure accountability of grant monies. The memorandum will include:
- The total grant amount;
- How the funds will be disbursed;
- Requirements for how the funds are to be used;
- Agreement to the following accountability measures: 1) monthly reporting of how the funds are used until they have been exhausted; and 2) proof of rehiring/retaining employees;
- A claw back provision stating that companies that do not meet their commitment will be required to pay the monies back to Cobb County;
The funds will be disbursed in two increments: the initial disbursement of 50% of the total grant amount, at the time the Memorandum of Agreement is signed; and a second disbursement of the remaining 50% will be paid to the company once proof of rehiring/maintaining the current workforce is provided through monthly reporting;
Companies that do not provide the proof of rehiring/maintaining their workforce will be subject to the claw back provision of the Memorandum of Agreement; and
Companies must request the second disbursement of grant funds no more than sixty (60) days after the first disbursement is provided.
Need help completing your application? Below are several video resources and frequently asked questions.
Have questions regarding the application and review process?
Cecily Welch walks you through the grant application, and answers commonly asked questions.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: If I received PPP funds or an SBA EIDL loan, am I eligible to apply for the grant?
A: PPP and SBA EIDL Recipients must divulge if they have received funding at the time of their application. The first review of applications will be focused on those applicants that did not receive any funding. If we are able to open up the review process to include applicants that have received funding, we will do so. We will have to go before the Commissioners to make that change to our Grant agreement, but we are still encouraging those companies that received PPP funds to apply.
Q: What information needs to be included in a payroll register?
A: Payroll registers must include the date 3/1/2020 and the latest payroll as of the date of your application. This can be done in one or more reports. In order to be approved, payroll reports MUST provide the following information:
- Pay period dates
- Check run dates
- Number of hours per pay period that each employee worked
- Gross wages
- As well as additional relevant information for your company
Q: How do I find my Certificate of Existence and Certificate of Organization?
A: Both of these Documents should be included in your Secretary of State listing.
- Visit https://ecorp.sos.ga.gov/BusinessSearch and search for your company
- After you choose your company listing that indicates “Active/Compliance”, click on the button at the bottom of the page that says “Filing History”
- Once in filing history, click on the listing that says “Business Formation”. The documents should be included here.
*If your listing does not show your Certificate of Organization, we can accept your Articles of Incorporation in its place.
*If your listing does not include the Certificate of Existence, we can accept your Annual Registration in its place.
Q: Do 1099’s count towards the number of employees?
A: No, unfortunately 1099’s cannot count. The number of employees must be based on the number of full-time, W2 employees working more than 30 hours per week.
Q: If I am a sole-proprietor with no employees, can I apply for the grant?
A: Absolutely! In the application, indicate that you are a Sole Proprietor with No Employees and the application will amend itself to not require 941 forms or the Certificate of Existence or Certificate of Organization.
Q: If my 2019 taxes are not complete, what can be sent in its place?
A: Your company’s Profit & Loss Statements as well as the Balance Sheet for 2019 can be submitted in place of the 2019 tax return. Please note that there is only one spot for this upload. If needed, please print off these reports and scan them in as one document.
Q: As a Sole Proprietor, do you want my entire tax return or just the Schedule C document?
A: The schedule C and any relevant documents following, will suffice.
Q: Are nonprofits eligible to apply for the grant?
A: Unfortunately, our Memorandum of Understanding for administration of these grants does not allow us to provide the grants to nonprofit organizations.
Q: Can I amend my application after I submit it?
A: Yes, you can. Please reach out to the team at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to open your application for editing. Applications are able to remain open for 72 hours OR until June 26 at 5 p.m., whichever comes first. Once you have made your change, click save and your application will be resubmitted.
Q: If you reach out to me to make a change to my application, how can I do that?
A: Use your login and password on the grants site to login and make any changes we’ve requested. Please note that you have 72 hours OR until June 26 at 5 p.m., whichever comes first, to make the change before the reviewing period closes and your application will move forward without the changes or additions we have recommended. Once eligibility reviews begin, applicants will no longer be able to make changes to their applications.
Q: What if I do not have a business license, can I still apply?
A: You must have a current, non-expired Business License from Cobb County or one of its municipalities (Acworth, Austell, Kennesaw, Marietta, Powder Springs, or Smyrna) in order to apply.
Q: I just renewed my business license online, but the new certificate has not come in. Can I still apply?
A: Yes! Please submit your 2019 Business License as well as the receipt showing us that you have paid for your 2020 Business License. If your application is funded, we will need an updated copy of your 2020 business license prior to the disbursement of any funding.
Q: Can I get a business license today and still apply for the grant?
A: Yes! You can apply for a business license with Cobb County or one of its municipalities and then complete your application.
Q: Can I convert my part-time employees into full-time employees using an equation similar to the PPP?
A: Unfortunately, no. We are unable to count part-time employees towards this grant.
Q: When do grants funds need to be used by?
A: All funds must be used by December 1, 2020. Any funds remaining at that point, will need to be returned to the county.
Q: I use a PEO to run my payroll and I don’t have 941 forms. Can I still apply?
A: Yes. SelectCobb recognizes that eligible applicants that use PEOs or similar payroll providers are required under some state registration laws to report wage and other data as of May 27, 2020.
In order to accept documentation from the PEO, we will need the following information displayed on the reports provided – this can be done via a cover sheet or on the physical report. These reports should be provided in the spaces where a 941 form is requested on the application.
- the Employer Identification Number (EIN) of the PEO or other payroll provider
- payroll documentation provided by the payroll provider that indicates the amount of wages and payroll taxes reported to the IRS by the payroll provider for the applicant’s employees will be considered acceptable SelectCobb Grant payroll documentation
- Relevant information from a 941 Form, Allocation Schedule for Aggregate Form 941 Filers, attached to the PEO’s or other payroll provider’s Form 941, Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return, should be used if it is available otherwise, the eligible borrower should obtain a statement from the payroll provider documenting the amount of wages, bi-weekly or monthly hours and payroll taxes
- employees of the eligible borrower will not be considered employees of the eligible borrower’s payroll provider or PEO.