Richland County COVID-19 Nonprofit Grant Program – ROUND 1

This grant is only open to nonprofits in Richland County, Ohio.

Click here to watch a 20 minute informational video about applying for the grant.

The Richland County COVID-19 Nonprofit Relief Grant Program (the “Program”) is a grant fund that has been established with Richland Area Chamber & Economic Development (the “Chamber”) to distribute $500,000 that the County received through section 5001 of the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”). The Program has been created by Richland County, with several community partners, to assist nonprofits throughout Richland County that are coping with the financial hardship imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The below guidelines establish the nonprofits eligible for funding, the type of expenses that can be paid with grant funds, the application and award process, and the process for entities to make contributions to the Program.

I.  General Description of the Program

Eligible nonprofits will be able to receive grant funds from the program in order to assist those nonprofits with operating expenses incurred or paid after March 15, 2020, when the State of Ohio began the process of closing certain businesses within the State, and at which point several businesses, including nonprofits, were being affected by both mandatory and voluntary closures, cancellations, and postponements of operations, activities, and events, both in and outside of Ohio, and substantial losses in revenue as a result of business interruption and broad economic impact of the pandemic. Generally, the amount of the grant per nonprofit will be a maximum of $7,500 for nonprofits with 2019 operating revenues of $100,000 – $4,000,000 and a maximum of $2,500 for nonprofits with 2019 operating revenues of less than $100,000. Eligibility for the grants will be tied to key criteria linked to supporting nonprofits that were viable prior to the pandemic, have been impacted by COVID-19, are located in Richland County and have the potential to continue to operate following the pandemic.

Applicants must apply online to the Chamber, which will review the same for completeness and compliance with these guidelines. Applications will be taken starting at 9:00 a.m. on Friday, November 13, 2020 and run until 11:59 p.m. Sunday, November 22, 2020. All complete applications submitted during that time, that follow the eligibility criteria set forth below, will be scored based on criteria reviewed by the Grant Advisory Committee. The Grant Advisory Committee will recommend the awarding of grants to nonprofits with completed applications generally based on the criteria set forth in Exhibit B, with the intention of awarding grants based on the following: the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the operation and success of the nonprofit, the likelihood of the nonprofit’s future success, the number of job opportunities preserved for Richland County nonprofits, the location of the nonprofit, and the commitment of the nonprofit to diversity, equity, and inclusion. The Chamber will announce the award of grant funds the week of November 30, 2020 and will begin distributing grant funds the following week.

All grants made under the Program are being made with the intention to provide immediate funding to nonprofits to reimburse the costs of interruption caused by required closures, to assist with the payment of costs where the nonprofit faces uncertainty as to its ability to pay due to the pandemic, to keep as many nonprofits in Richland County operating as possible, and to retain as many jobs for Richland County residents as possible in light of the severe economic hardships brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.  All contributions of funds to the Program are made for the purpose of furthering economic development, preserving employment opportunities for Richland County residents, and preserving the operations of Richland County’s nonprofits during a time of need and emergency. The primary objective of the Program is to minimize long-term economic hardship to Richland County residents and nonprofits that may result from the COVID-19 pandemic.

II.  Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for grant funds under the Program, Richland County nonprofits must meet the following requirements, as of March 1, 2020:

  • The organization must operate as a 501(c)(3) organization who is in good standing with the State of Ohio Secretary of State’s office and the IRS and had already received their nonprofit status prior to February 28, 2020. For-profit entities of any type, including sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation (both S and C), professional association, limited liability company, limited partnership, or limited liability partnership are not eligible for this grant opportunity (business that are for-profit generally file an IRS Form 1040 with a Schedule-C, 1040-SR with a Schedule-C, 1065, 1120 or 1120-S.)
  • The organization’s 2019 Operating Revenue must not exceed $4,000,000. To be eligible for a grant up to $7,500, the nonprofit must have 2019 operating revenues of $100,000 – $4,000,000. To be eligible for a grant up to $2,500, the nonprofit must have 2019 operating revenues of less than $100,000.
  • The organization must have 40 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees or less as of October 15, 2020. FTE’s for the purpose of this grant will be counted as one FTE per full time employee and one-half FTE per part time employee. For purposes of this criteria, “employee” shall mean an individual who (i)  is employed as an employee who regularly works at least 20 hours per week and who is provided an IRS Form W-2 at the end of each calendar year, (ii) is independently contracted with the nonprofit, regularly works at least 20 hours per week and who receives an IRS Form 1099 at the end of each calendar year.  
  • The principal place of operation, or headquarters, for the nonprofit must be located within Richland County. If located outside of Richland County, the organization must have a Richland County address, and must be providing services in Richland County to be considered.
  • The nonprofit must not be permanently closed and must intend to continue its operations following the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The nonprofit must not be in receivership or bankruptcy.

All nonprofits will be required to provide the nonprofits’ federal employer identification number.

The nonprofit shall not be one of the following, regardless of its general eligibility under subsection (A), above:

  • Public, private, or charter schools
  • Colleges and universities
  • Hospitals
  • Any government or public service entity
  • Any levy-funded organization
  • Any other funders (e.g. other foundations, etc.)

There are two funds being established at the Chamber to distribute these CARES Act funds. One is the Richland County COVID-19 Nonprofit Relief Grant Program and the second is the Richland County COVID-19 Arts, Culture, and Attractions Grant Program. The criteria for both funds are listed below:

Richland County COVID-19 Nonprofit Relief Grant Program

  • Demonstrated need because of increased expenses or decrease in revenues resulting  from COVID-19
  • A clear outline of how you would use these funds – they can be used for general operating support to assist the nonprofit in staying open and operating.
  • Apply towards expenditures between March 15, 2020 – Dec. 30, 2020.
  • Work in an area or service deemed a basic need or important need:
  • Food/Clothing – providing groceries, meals, or other food and clothing services direct to Richland County residents.
  • Shelter – housing assistance including homeless prevention and service organizations, or other nonprofits who assist in temporary housing or housing support services.
  • Health (excluding hospitals) – providing medical, dental, and mental health care to Richland County residents.
  • Safe Care/Safety Net Services – keeping children, elders, and special needs populations safe at home or in community settings (i.e., non-school childcare centers, elder care wellness services, also included in this area would be before or after school programs, homeless shelters, mentoring, community and neighborhood development programs who are providing some basic needs to their neighborhoods, social service programs to refugees and immigrants, educational programs that enhances one’s ability to become employed or to  care for their children/family, stray pet care or pet adoption services)
  • Workforce Development – Programs designed to assist residents with acquiring and maintaining employment considering the economic impact created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Entrepreneurship – Programs designed to assist residents with starting a business or that provide support services to local entrepreneurs, considering the economic impact created by the COVID-19 pandemic.  

The Richland County COVID-19 Arts, Culture, and Attractions Grant Program.

  • Demonstrated need because of increased demand or decrease in support resulting from COVID- 19.
  • A clear outline of how you would use these funds – they can be used for general operating support to assist the nonprofit in staying open and operating.
  • Apply towards expenditures between March 15, 2020 – Dec. 30, 2020.
  • Be considered an arts, culture, and/or attraction organization and have an articulated mission that is dedicated to arts, culture, and/or serving as a local attraction. Arts and culture will be defined as creating, preserving and/or exhibiting visual, multidisciplinary, literary, and performing arts, public art, history, and humanities; or be considered a cultural asset unique to the Richland County community. Individual artists are not eligible. An attraction will be considered a nonprofit organization that serves as a key asset that serves a local audience and/or draws visitors into Richland County.
Other factors that will be considered when making grant awards from both funds:
  • Organization size and capacity, taking into consideration the number of employees an organization has or its capacity to increase service with its current workforce.
  • Organization must not have received a direct CARES Act disbursement (except for Paycheck Protection Program) or received other CARES Act dollars from Richland County.
  • Must disclose other COVID support dollars from other community funders (Richland County Foundation, Shelby Foundation, United Way, etc.).
  • Organization must be tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

III. Eligible expenses

  1. Unless excepted below, all expenses of the nonprofit that are deductible as ordinary and necessary expenses under the U.S. Internal Revenue Code may be paid for with grant funds from the Program. Examples of eligible expenses include, but are not limited to:
  • Mortgage payments for the nonprofit’s principal place of business or such other business location in Richland County. Mortgage payments for the nonprofit that are in an owner’s primary residence are not eligible.
  • Rent payments for the nonprofit’s principal place of business or such other business location in Richland County. Rent payments for the nonprofit that are in an owner’s primary residence are not eligible.
  • Utility payments – electric, gas, sewer, water, trash removal – for the business’s principal place of business or such other business location in Richland County. Utility payments for the nonprofit that are in an owner’s primary residence are not eligible.
  • Health, property and casualty and liability insurance payments.
  • Salaries or wages of all employees employed by the nonprofit.
  • Vehicle and equipment lease or rental payments for vehicles and equipment leased on or prior to March 15, 2020.
  • Such other costs related to interruption of the nonprofit caused by required closures, including the closure of the nonprofit’s suppliers and/or customers.

  1. Each applicant for funds will include in its application to the Chamber  an itemization of the expenses it intends to pay with the grant funds, which will be reviewed for compliance with the eligible expenses set forth in Section III(A), above. Following the expenditure of all grant funds, the nonprofit shall provide a listing to the Chamber of all expenses paid using the grant funds along with supporting documentation. Documentation will be in the form of cancelled checks, paid invoices, bank statements, or similar documents evidencing payment. The listing of expenses paid and accompanying documentation shall be submitted to the Chamber no later than December 30, 2020.
  2. All expenses reported to the Chamber as paid using Program funds must either be incurred by the nonprofit or paid by the nonprofit on or after March 15, 2020, and before Dec. 30, 2020. No grant funds may be used to pay for vehicles or equipment leased or purchased after March 15, 2020 (this prohibition is not intended to apply to inventory of the nonprofit). No Program Grant Funds may be used to repay expenses that were also claimed as part of other CARES Act funding programs – such as the Paycheck Protection Program; nor anything else reimbursable by the federal government.
  3. The eligible expenses set forth above constitute, to the best of the County of Richland and the Chamber’s knowledge and understanding, eligible expenses for which funds can be used under Section 5001 of the CARES Act, and the nonprofit cannot use grant funds it receives for purposes other than those set forth above.

Grant FAQ’s

Funding Partners

Richland County

Richland County Ohio Logo

More Information

Press Release

Informational Sheet (Coming Soon)

Training Sessions

Monday, November 16th @ 2:00pm via Zoom – Register here

Tuesday, November 17th @ 9:00am via Zoom – Register here

Thursday, November 19th @ 12:00pm via Zoom – Register here

Friday, November 20th @ 11:00am via Zoom – Register here

Contact Info

grants@richlandareachamber.com

419-522-3211

Informational Video

Click here to watch