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No. 6: County ARPA funds reach small businesses

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The effects of federal relief funds allocated to Greene County began to be felt by local businesses this summer.

After opening the application process in April, the first disbursements of the county’s nearly $57 million in American Rescue Plan funding allocated for small businesses were made in July, with four additional funding rounds announced by the commission through November.

The 10 largest recipients of small-business funding allocations are:

  • Neighbor’s Mill Bakery & Cafe, $45,500;
  • Millwood Golf and Racquet Club, $34,250;
  • O’Reilly Hospitality Management, $32,000;
  • In Home Solutions LLC, $31,500;
  • General Rental Center, $31,250;
  • Pearson-Kelly Technology, $28,750;
  • Civil Kitchen, $26,750;
  • TownePlace Suites by Marriott, $26,250; and
  • Big Pixl LLC and Solera Energy LLC, both at $25,500.

Of the $56.9 million in ARPA funds, $8 million is allocated for small businesses, with $3.2 million awarded to date. Additionally, $20.4 million is allocated for collaboration projects, $12 million for nonprofits and $10.2 million for countywide projects, with the remainder being held in reserves. Funding is designed to support the economic response and recovery related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The county’s first disbursements of ARPA funds were announced in June, with Burrell Behavioral Health receiving the largest allocation at $5.3 million, followed by Ozark Empire Fairgrounds, $5 million, and Vecino Group, $4.5 million.

The Greene County Commission in January appointed a committee of nine community leaders to help allocate the funds. Led by small-business owner and Missouri State University professor Lyle Foster, the committee was tasked with developing the review and approval process of grant applications.

The committee was informed in its recommendations by a needs assessment that identified mental health, affordable housing and homeless services as top priorities, followed by assistance for small businesses and nonprofits.

In October, nonprofit applicants received their first round of funding, with the largest allocations awarded to Good Dads Inc., $45,253, Pitts Chapel United Methodist Church, $40,000, and Rebound Foundation Inc., $40,000.

The commission has until 2024 to allocate the ARPA funds.

The city of Springfield also was awarded ARPA funds to the tune of $40 million. In July, the city’s ARPA committee announced its recommendations after receiving over $210 million in requests, with the largest allocations going to Cooper/Killian park projects, $7.3 million, and housing and homeless projects, $7 million.

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