Greenville County releases guidelines for Coronavirus Relief Fund applications

Greenville County releases guidelines for Coronavirus Relief Fund applications

Greenville County is making up to $75 million available to small businesses and nonprofits in the form of reimbursements for expenses to prevent COVID in the workplace and allow for continued or resumed operations.  Up to $4 million is also available in grants for organizations working in the public and community health response to COVID.  These funds are coming from the $91 million the County received from the CARES Act’s Coronavirus Relief Funds.  Applications for both funding sources opens on Monday, July 6th.

Nicole Wood, Assistant County Administrator, and Meredith Papapieris, Director of Grants and Special Projects, both with Greenville County, presented to a joint meeting of GPP and the NonProfit Alliance on Wednesday, June 30th. (Click here for meeting slide deck)

Business support grants are available for health and human service and arts-related non-profits that have been negatively impacted by COVID-19.  On July 6, 2020, organizations who did not receive PPP, EIDL, or SBA Debt Relief may begin applying.  On July 20,2020 all others can apply.  Funds are for reimbursement of unbudgeted COVID-19 related expenses only and cannot be used for revenue replacement.  Must be business with principal “brick and mortar” location in Greenville County (in other words, a physical place of business rather than an office that was at home pre-COVID. This includes organizations that are national entities so long as they have a physical presence in Greenville County).  Grants are for up to $5,000 for organizations with 1-5 employees up to $5,000 and up to $10,000 for organizations with between 6 and 60 employees.  Any 501c3 organizations that are primarily academic, animal welfare, grant making, political, recreational, or religious in nature are ineligible.

These grants are to reimburse actual expenses for PPE, equipment, supplies, processes or procedure changes, and other modifications to prevent the spread of COVID.  Nicole and Meredith were asked if a nonprofit may apply more than once: for instance, if they have already incurred expenses, can they submit now and then do so again upon incurring additional expenses.  They said yes, provided funds are still available and only up to the maximum amount of $5,000 or $10,000 depending on business size. They expect a reply to the application within two weeks.  The application portal will allow applicants to monitor progress of the process.

The second line of $4 million in funding for public and community health grants are to provide funding to medical facilities and public health organizations, non-profits caring for older adults and vulnerable populations who have experienced unforeseen expenses due to COVID-19 such as expanded meal delivery, patient care and testing, convalescent care, homeless care, food pantries, mental health and drug/alcohol treatment. Eligible organizations are health and human service non-profits and medical facilities based in and serving Greenville County residents.

Non-exclusive examples of eligible expenditures include medical expenses such as testing, Telehealth, EMS response expenses, public health (protective supplies, disinfection/cleaning of facilities, quarantining individuals, public safety measures), expenses to facilitate compliance (food delivery for seniors/vulnerable populations, teleworking, social distancing measures, training), or any other COVID-19 related expenses reasonably necessary to the function of government that satisfy the fund’s eligibility criteria. Expenses related to Medicaid or funded by another federal program, payroll for non-COVID focused employees, damages covered by insurance, bonuses, severance pay, and legal settlements are not eligible. New programs that are not part of the organization’s mission are also not eligible.

This process will take a bit longer than the business reimbursement grants.  Even though Prisma Health and Bon Secours St. Francis are also eligible for this line of funding, Nicole assured participants that all of our community’s nonprofits would get equal consideration.  There is no set amount for these grants, and they can include both past expenses and anticipated ones as the COVID crisis continues.  County staff will conduct a first level of review and will then go to the finance team at the county to ensure everything is in order.

Nonprofits can apply for both lines of funding if eligible – for instance, if they have COVID expenses that are eligible for reimbursement, they can apply for the business support, and if they also offer programming that is larger and fits the lines of the $4 million program, they can make application in both areas.

Nicole said that at any point in time, something with these funds could change.  For instance, if by October, only half of the funds have been spent, the council may determine to expand eligibility or to use the funds in a different way. Based on the math that staff did, there should be adequate funding to support Greenville County businesses and nonprofits, so there isn’t the same rush needed as in the first round of the Paycheck Protection Program. Regular updates will be provided to council and made available in an online dashboard for residents to keep track.  Meredith did add that organizations shouldn’t wait too long, so if an organization knows that a certain item is needed, it should make that purchase and submit it for reimbursement in case the guidelines do change.

Nicole said that they’d be glad to take any questions and have set up an email specifically for those at [email protected].