S.C. lawmakers approve $40 million in grants for minority, small businesses

S.C. lawmakers approve $40 million in grants for minority, small businesses
State legislatures have decided how they will allocate the remaining federal funds from the CARES Act. (Source: Live 5 News)

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - State legislatures have decided how they will allocate the remaining federal funds from the CARES Act.

State lawmakers say $40 million of the more than $600 million of remaining funds will go towards minority and small businesses.

State Representative JA Moore says the funding is intended to support minority businesses in South Carolina who have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

“A lot of these businesses including my own struggle to get other federal programs like PPP and the disaster relief funds that was administered at the federal level,” Moore said. “This is something that I have been advocating for at the beginning of the pandemic. It is so important because African American, Latino and Hispanic businesses make up the cultural diversity of the greater Charleston area.”

The SC CARES Act Grant Management Program says a business could receive between $2,000 and $25,000.

Priority will be given to minority businesses, applicants that did not receive other assistance, such as a Paycheck Protection Program loan or other CARES funds, to businesses with 15 or fewer employees and to businesses that demonstrate the greatest financial need.

“During the COVID-19 crisis, black and brown folks were just disproportionately affected both from a health perspective, and also from an economic perspective,” Moore said.

Businesses must have 25 or fewer employees and must have been operating for at least six months prior to the initial COVID‑19 state of emergency declaration on March 13, 2020.

Moore says he will be informing the community about the grants and plans to have computer access where people can apply in-person and get assistance with the application process.

“I feel for every business in my district and across the state,” Moore said. “We have to remember, the reason why there’s a need to put programs like this in place because black and brown folks, specifically African Americans in this country...there’s been systems that have been put in place to adversely affect upward mobility for black and brown people in this country and the state.”

When the link to the application becomes available in the middle of October, you’ll be able to access it in this story.

Here’s a breakdown of the where the remaining funds will go:

  • Department of Health and Environmental Control Statewide Testing and Monitoring - $73,022,613
  • Medical University of South Carolina Statewide Testing - $20,150,000
  • Department of Employment and Workforce Unemployment Trust Fund - $420,000,000
  • Department of Administration Nonprofit Relief Program - $ 25,000,000
  • Department of Administration Minority and Small Business Relief Program - $40,000,000
  • Department of Administration State, Local Government, Independent College and University Expenditures - $115,000,000

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