SelectCobb, an economic development initiative of the Cobb Chamber, in partnership with Cobb County Government is issuing over $40.5 million in grant funding to 3,238 small businesses in the county between Oct. 19 and Oct. 27.
“The SelectCobb Small Business Relief Grant program has been one of the most important initiatives to drive economic growth and stability since our strategy launched in 2012,” said Dana Johnson, COO of the Cobb Chamber and Executive Director of SelectCobb. “These grants have served as a financial lifeline for many of Cobb’s small businesses, giving them the resources needed to rehire staff, pay bills, and stay open.”
In May, Cobb County Commissioners approved funding for a $50 million Small Business Grant Program designed to help struggling businesses recover from the economic disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The funding was made available through the $132 million allocated to the county in the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
“This program is a prime example of the compassion of this county. I am proud to have worked with the Board to make these funds available to small businesses impacted by the pandemic,” said Mike Boyce, Chairman of the Cobb Board of Commissioners. “Our hope is this program will help these businesses through the pandemic so they can thrive in Cobb when it’s over. I would like to thank Steve Ewing and Dana Johnson and all on the committee who worked tirelessly through this application process to make this program a success.”
The SelectCobb Small Business Relief Grant program featured two rounds of applications. In total, the program funded 3,647 Cobb-based small businesses, awarding $48 million. The grant program funded small businesses from every corner of the county – 50.9 percent were minority-owned businesses, 44.1 percent were women-owned businesses, and 7 percent were veteran-owned businesses.
Grant funding was available in three different tiers based upon the number of full-time, W-2 employees employed by the company as of March 12, 2020. The tiers of grant funding included, up to $20,000 for 1 to 10 employees; up to $30,000 for 11 to 50 employees; and up to $40,000 for 51 to 100 employees.
SelectCobb and Cobb Chamber staff reviewed each application ensuring all eligibility requirements were met. Once applications closed, an independent committee of business representatives reviewed each eligible application and decided which companies received grant funds and how much was provided, up to the maximum allowed by each tier. The committee was comprised of individuals from all areas of the county, and included a diverse group of industries, including banking, certified public accountants, law, small business and county government.