More than 150 businesses seek small business grants

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) — More than 150 small businesses have applied for up to $25,000 in grants under Lexington’s new small business grant program

According to city spokesperson Susan Straub, the city received 157 requests in the days after applications opened July 20.

The applications are being reviewed by the Loan Access Committee of Commerce Lexington which is helping the city review and administrate the grants program to determine if the applicants meet the requirements and the level of funding the applicant will receive.

No grants have been awarded yet.

Straub said the city doesn’t yet have a breakdown of applicants by minority-ownership or other categories. The actual breakdown will be done once all applications have been reviewed and discussed by the committee, Straub said.

Companies that receive funding should begin to receive notices within the next couple of weeks.

The city is not taking additional applications right now to allow the review committee time to process those already received. If funding remains after the first batch of applications are processed, the city will go live with the application again, and accept additional applications, Straub explained.

The Lexington Fayette Urban County Council approved the $2.5 million small business grant program early last month.

The goal is to help small businesses hard hit by the coronavirus outbreak and resulting shutdown, especially those that have been unable to get financial assistance elsewhere.

At least half of the money will go to minority- and women-owned businesses. Grants are available for up to $25,000 although the city said it expects many of the grants to be in the $5,000-$10,000 range to help businesses pay for everything from cleaning and personal protective equipment for workers to payroll.

Businesses must be 50 employees or less except for restaurants which can have up to 100 full-time equivalent workers.

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