Carroll County has doled out about $3.4 million in coronavirus relief funds to more than 900 local businesses and nonprofits in the past three months, according to the head of the program.
Carroll Rebound was born out of funding the county received through federal coronavirus relief legislation to lift up businesses and nonprofits affected by the pandemic of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.
Jack Lyburn, director of economic development for Carroll County, presented the unofficial final numbers on the program’s success at the Board of County Commissioners meeting Thursday. He noted some applications were incomplete, so staff are trying to remedy those.
About $900,000 in funds were given to 720 small businesses, $573,000 went to 113 farms, $570,000 benefited 54 restaurants and $152,000 helped nonprofits, Lyburn said, naming some of the recipients. Carroll Rebound also served sole proprietors, agribusinesses and home-based businesses. Recipients were eligible for grants based on expenses or loss due to COVID-19.
After the commissioners extended the deadline a few times, the application portal closed Sept. 30. On Thursday, Commissioner Ed Rothstein, R-District 5, pushed to leave the portal open longer and let the program fizzle down to zero. He acknowledged the Carroll Rebound fund was allocated $4 million, and he wanted to see every penny put into the hands of Carroll County residents.
The commissioners have the ability to reallocate the remaining Carroll Rebound funds to another area affected by the pandemic, but it must be used before the year’s end.
“The more we can do to support these companies and businesses, I want to do," Rothstein said.
Commissioner Dennis Frazier, R-District 3, argued the portal should be closed so the board can use the money elsewhere, related to COVID-19. He recognized the efforts county staff went to in order to advertise the programs, such as contacting businesses, renting a billboard, issuing news releases and lining up newspaper advertising.
“I’m not in favor of waiting for the late people,” Frazier said.
In the interest of compromise, Commissioner Stephen Wantz, R-District 1, suggested leaving the application portal open until Wednesday at 5 p.m. to catch any stragglers. The other commissioners agreed.
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Applications are available online at carrollbiz.org/carrollrebound/.