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Financial help now available for small businesses affected by COVID-19

The City of Myrtle Beach has received more than $600,000 in Community Development Block Grant funds to provide relief for small businesses reeling from COVID-19’s economic effects.  The application for this one-time money will exist later this week.  The primary objective is to assist low-to-moderate income people by retaining jobs that would have otherwise been lost due to hardships attributable to COVID-19.  Assistance up to $25,000 may be provided on a reimbursable basis over a six month period to each qualifying business.  The minimum help is $1,000.  The first application cycle will close on January 29, 2021.  For more information, contact Horry County Community Development at  Applications are available for download on the Horry County Community Development website at 

To be eligible, businesses must meet the following requirements:
• Be located within the City of Myrtle Beach.
• Be a for-profit business (charities are not eligible).
• Employ 25 or fewer full-time equivalent employees at the time of application.
• Have less than $5 million in gross revenues for the past 12 months.
• Be able to demonstrate an economic hardship caused by COVID-19.
• Applicant must be 51%+ majority owner of business.
• Owner must be 18 years or older.
• Owner must have or will have a valid SSN, EIN & DUNS, Business Bank Account.
• Owner/Applicant must not currently be in bankruptcy.
• Owner/Applicant must be current with property taxes, business license and fees owed to the City .
• Business must have active liability insurance within 30 days.
• Recipients must retain at least 1 FTE job held by a member of LMI household for a minimum of 90 days.
• Funds will be disbursed by reimbursement to the applicant for documented eligible project expenses.

Grant proceeds may be used for:
• Rent
• Accounts payable
• Payroll
• Other working capital

Businesses commit to the retention or creation of at least one job held by a member of a low to moderate-income household and have been in operation for at least 12 months. 
• Job retention is defined as total full-time equivalent positions retained at 40 hours per week, or any combination of part-time positions combining for 40 hours per week, including owners. At least 51% of the positions retained or created must be held by employees who are a member of a low-moderate-income household or the job can reasonably be expected to turn over within the following two years and steps will be taken to ensure that the job will be filled by, or made available to a LMI person.
• For funded activities that retain jobs, there must be sufficient information documenting that the jobs would have been lost without the CDBG assistance.

Funds in this program may not be used for:
• Pay off non-business debt, such as personal credit cards for purchases not associated with the business.
• Make capital improvements or purchase equipment
• Purchase personal expenses such as buying a new family car or making repairs to a participant’s home.
• Direct financing for political activities or paying off taxes and fines.
• Purchase of personal items
• Support of other businesses in which the borrower may have an interest.

Application process:
• The City must confirm the business and the applicant(s) possess the capacity to execute the project proposal to be successful with the use CDBG funds. 
• Grant applicants for the Business Relief Program are required to demonstrate management capacity and ability to successfully operate a business through their application.
• Applicants must furnish their last two years of financial statements in the form of income tax statements. In the case of a business that has been in operation for less than two years, all income tax returns, as filed, must be submitted.
• Applicants shall be required to furnish an interim financial statement, not less than 90 days old, internally prepared.
• Projections must be supplied on a monthly basis for a period of four full months. 
• Projections must include balance sheets, sources and uses, and a statement of cash flow.
• All projections must include the assumptions made. Purchase orders, or letters from potential customers, will help strengthen the assumptions.
• Applicant financial statements and projections will be reviewed by staff/underwriter to confirm the business has the financial capacity to retain, for at least 90 days, at least one job held by a member of a low to moderate income household.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) allocated supplemental Community Development Block Grant (CDBG-CV) Program funds to Horry County and Myrtle Beach to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The CDBG-CV funds are authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), Public Law 116-136 and must be used to prevent, prepare for, or respond to the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19).  Small businesses that receive assistance through the relief program must commit to create or retain one full time equivalent (FTE) position held by a low to moderate income household for a period of at least 90 days.