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article imageRevitalizing the local economy with city led support

By Tim Sandle     Dec 27, 2020 in Business
To help to kick start local economies in the wake of mass unemployment arising from an economy ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic, a number of U.S. cities have decided to go it alone and put in measures to boost businesses.
A recent analysis shows that more than 800 state and local financial assistance programs have filled critical gaps in federal aid for small businesses amid the pandemic. In the absence of any form of national plan from the dying days of the Trump Administration, local communities are returning to planning to help raise the economic status of their communities.
The first example of action to address free-market failings comes from JobsOhio. The organization has launched an Inclusion Grant program, which provides financial support for eligible projects in designated distressed communities and/or for businesses owned by underrepresented populations across the state. Approximately 40 percent of the recipients so far are from Logan County, which has proven its resiliency, having bounced back from 31% unemployment in April to the lowest unemployment out of all 88 counties in the state.
A second example of planning comes from Hays County, TX. The city recently initiated Phase II of its Emergency Cash Assistance Program (ECAP) fund. The ECAP fund is a collaboration between the county, the City of Kyle, PeopleFund and the Greater San Marcos Partnership. The first phase of ECAP funding helped 38 local businesses in Hays County during the early states of the COVID-19 crisis, all of which were previously not able to secure PPP or EIDL funding. In Phase II of ECAP, businesses that have received PPP or EIDL funding will now be eligible for a grant, with awards based on a formula calculating revenue losses over a period of time.
A third, and final example, stems from Fayetteville, NC and the Center for Economic Empowerment and Development. These bodies have issued loans of up to $5,000 to keep businesses operating while they waited for more help from the federal government. During the pandemic, the city’s economic and community development department provided small business owners, who employ low income residents, $10,000 grants to try to help them stay in business.
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