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County offers COVID-related grants to businesses, groups

Allocations will depend on the category the business falls under
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Mountain View County council has allocated a total of $230,000 for small businesses operating in Mountain View County. File photo

MOUNTAIN VIEW COUNTY - County council has approved a plan to allocated $412,157 in provincial Municipal Operating Support Transfer (MOST) funding to community groups and local businesses impacted by the pandemic.

The move came by way of motions at the recent regularly scheduled council meeting, held by teleconference.

The county had previously allocated $886,702 in MOST funding, with the $412,157 being the remaining amount available to the county.

In December council instructed administration to refine the allocations to provide support to community groups and small businesses in Mountain View County that have been impacted by COVID-19.

Administration subsequently reached out to a number of businesses, community halls and community groups in an attempt to identify the impact the pandemic has had on their respective operations.

Council has allocated a total of $230,000 for small businesses operating in Mountain View County. 

Allocations will depend on the category the business falls under as outlined by the provincial chief medical officer of health order 42-2020, said Jeff Holmes, the county's chief administrative officer.

Generally the categories are one of two types: whether the business has been ordered closed to the public (categories 1-5) or has been allowed to remain open under limited capacity or must schedule appointments (categories 6-8).

“We’ve determined that those businesses in categories 1 to 5 were likely the hardest hit from an economic point of view,” said Holmes.

Businesses in categories 1 to 5 can apply for funding to the equivalent of a maximum of 100 per cent of their municipal portion of property taxes paid in 2020.

The category 6-8 businesses can apply for a maximum of $500.

The application process will involve a form posted on the county’s website, the newspaper, and other means such as the newly-released county app, he said.

“We will try and send out communications as best we can,” he said. “It is only eligible to business entities that operate and pay taxes to Mountain View County. Our goal is to get it out in early February and if we can get it out sooner we will.”

If the program is over-subscribed the county will do pro-rated allocations, he said.

Meanwhile, council has also allocated $80,000 MOST funding to rural community hall funding to assist online operational costs such as utility charges and/or insurance costs. The individual maximum allocation will be $2,500.

Council has allocated a total of $50,000 to FCSS programming to cover expenses incurred for events or activities that were unable to proceed due to restrictions and/or expenses for additional personal protective equipment (PPE) necessary to proceed with planned activities. The individual maximum allocation will be $2,500.

Council has allocated $50,000 for rural community grant/Cremona recreation board applicants to cover expenses incurred for events or activities that were unable to proceed due to restrictions and/or expenses for additional personal protective equipment necessary to proceed with planned activities. The maximum individual allocation will be $2,500.

Council has allocated $3,000 for libraries to assist with offsetting PPE purchases necessary to allow for library operations to continue. A maximum individual allocation will be $500.