Small-business owners who want a share of the $575,000 in federal money the city will make available for coronavirus relief can attend a meeting Aug. 6 to learn how to apply.
The city anticipates opening the application process in mid-August. The informational meeting is scheduled for 7:30-8:30 p.m. Aug. 6 and will be hosted on Zoom. Participants can join the virtual meeting at https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86436300145.
Local minority- and women-owned businesses will receive priority consideration for the microenterprise and small-business recovery loan programs, and representatives of the city's Housing Programs division have been working to reach out to them with information.
Housing Programs Manager Randy Cole, at a recent meeting of the Columbia City Council, outlined the criteria that will be used to score applications. Here's the breakdown:
- One point for businesses with 100% ownership residing within Columbia.
- One point for businesses with at least 51% minority ownership.
- One point for businesses with at least 51% female ownership.
- One point for businesses that were unable to access the Paycheck Protection Program or the Small Business Administration program.
- One point for businesses investing at least 20% of assistance in adhering to social-distancing requirements and business resiliency.
The city also has published a flier with more information about the microenterprise and small-business recovery loan programs.