CARES Act funds available

Small businesses encouraged to apply; application period begins Wednesday

By Eddie Mowen Jr. -

EATON – Small businesses needing relief from COVID-19-related expenses can now apply for grant funding through the Preble County Small Business Relief Program.

Applications will be accepted beginning Wednesday, July 29, according to a press release issued by county officials on Monday, July 27. The Preble County Small Business Relief Program is offering grants of $1,000-10,000 to small businesses in the county affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Eligible small businesses can apply for up to $10,000 in grant funds to be used for the reimbursement of eligible expenses. The program is being funded with money Preble County received through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, also known as the CARES Act — a $2 trillion economic stimulus bill Congress passed in March.

To be eligible for grant funding, businesses must have 50 or fewer employees or 1099 workers as of March 22, 2020; must have less than $1 million in gross revenue/receipts on an annual basis and must have experienced a decrease in gross revenue of 35 percent or more compared to March 1-April 30, 2019 revenue, due to COVID-19.

To receive funding, a business also must be an entity (for-profit or not-for-profit) in Preble County which has been in operation since at least January 2019.

Ineligible businesses include banks, savings and loans or credit unions; e-commerce-only companies, liquor/wine stores, vaping stores, tobacco stores and cannabis dispensaries.

Eligible expenses include mortgage costs, rent or lease costs, utility expenses, salaries, wages or compensation paid to employees or 1099 workers; materials and supplies related to interruption of the business caused by required closures and personal protective equipment or other COVID-19 related costs.

Ineligible expenses include cost of vehicles or equipment leased or purchased after March 23, except if the purchase of equipment is to comply with Responsible RestartOhio; mortgage, rent or lease costs for businesses located or operated out of a personal residence; personal, non-business expenses of businesses or their owners; new construction costs not related to COVID-19, and any tax, license or fee obligations payable to any governmental entity.

Applications will be accepted from 9 a.m. Wednesday, July 29 through 4 p.m. Friday, Aug. 28. Applications can be submitted via email to or dropped off at the Preble County Courthouse, 101 E. Main St., Eaton, during regular office hours, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. (Do not mail applications.)

For complete details about the Preble County Small Business Relief Program or to receive an application, visit or email

Details regarding a separate application process for individuals needing relief for mortgage, rent, lease or utility expenses is set to be released soon, according to officials.

Small businesses encouraged to apply; application period begins Wednesday

By Eddie Mowen Jr.