Gov. Mike Parson on Tuesday announced two new grant programs, totaling $50 million, to aid Missouri businesses that have been impacted by the coronavirus. The $30 million Small Business Grant program and the $20 million PPE Production Grant Program are both funded by the federal CARES Act.
The Small Business Grant program aims to assist small businesses and family-owned farms that have suffered economic losses during the pandemic. Specifically, this program would provide up to $50,000 in reimbursement to small businesses forced to close for some time during stay-at-home orders.
A small business is defined as one that employs 50 or fewer people. Recipients must have suffered losses due to COVID-19 between March 11 and Nov. 15.
The funds can be used to redesign facilities, install air filtration systems, create online sales infrastructure or pay workers for business closures. Businesses can also apply funds toward any adaptations designed to better serve customers during the pandemic.
Of the $30 million, $7.5 million is set aside for family-owned farms or farm corporations. Any farmer producing agricultural crops, livestock, poultry, dairy or horticulture products is eligible.
“We know that every segment of agriculture has felt the tremendous impact of COVID-19 and will for many years,” Chris Chinn, director of the Missouri Department of Agriculture, said in a press release. “We have continuously worked with Governor Parson and my colleagues across state government — including DED and the General Assembly — to provide support for the unmet needs of Missouri’s family-owned farms and ranches.”
The $20 million PPE Production Grant program aims to support Missouri companies producing personal protective equipment. As COVID-19 case counts continue to climb in Missouri and masks become mandatory in more parts of the state, demand for personal protective equipment remains high.
This grant can be used by companies producing the equipment to offset high production costs, as well as to purchase new equipment for retooling, upgrading or expanding their production facilities.