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County’s small businesses apply for OCRA grants

County’s small businesses apply for OCRA grants County’s small businesses apply for OCRA grants
Kaitlyn Clay, Staff Writer, [email protected]

Darrell Voelker, director of the Harrison County Economic Development Corp., was able to inform the Harrison County Board of Commissioners at its meeting Monday evening that there have been 19 applications received from small business owners throughout the county for $10,000 grants from the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs.

Voelker approached the commissioners regarding the possibility of receiving this grant at the end of 2020 and has been working with The Wheatley Group, an economic development strategy specialist firm in New Albany, for assistance on applying for the full grant funds of $250,000 on behalf of the commissioners.

Requirements for the grant were that eligible businesses be negatively impacted by COVID-19 and have less than 100 employees on staff who fall in a low- to moderate-income category.

Each of the 19 current applicants have requested the full $10,000, and Voelker said he expects more applicants to begin rolling in as the word spreads about these grant dollars available for local small businesses.

Voelker passed the applications on to the commissioners for approval.

Harrison County Sheriff Nick Smith approached the commissioners to request $28,866 for equipment replacement funds. He said these dollars would go toward completely replacing an ice machine and a convection steamer in the kitchen area.

These units are the original ones, which have been in use since about 1994, said Smith, noting there is no line in his maintenance fund for equipment replacements which is why he was requesting the funds from the county.

“If this was a want, I would be hesitant to pass it on to the council, but this is a need,” Commissioner Nelson Stepro said. “You have to be able to provide food.”

The commissioners unanimously approved forwarding Smith’s request to the county council.

Jon Stepro, head of the Harrison County Facilities Dept., presented two $10,000 requests to the commissioners.

One of the funding requests would be used for the janitorial supplies that would go toward chemical supplies.

Stepro explained that, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many raw material supply costs have drastically increased, thus requiring him to ask for more money in this area.

The other $10,000 request will go toward equipment repair. Stepro noted the majority of these dollars would be used on the Stanley Security equipment and heat pumps that currently need repairs.

A representative from the Harrison County Health Dept. also approached the commissioners.

Jennifer Caffrey, director of the MCH clinic, presented an updated contract for software used within the health department and the hiring of a contract employee to help at the COVID testing site, both which passed unanimously.

She explained that the health department has also put in a request for more National Guard assistance at the testing site.

The commissioners’ next regular meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 7, at 8:30 a.m. at the government building in Corydon. It is moved from the first Monday due to Labor Day.