AKRON, Ohio – It’s no secret that many businesses have struggled since the pandemic began.
That’s why many city governments across the country are trying to help, including the city of Akron.
The city announced a new program to offer former $10,000 grants to eligible small businesses. The program will use $1 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds.
For small business owners like Marge Klein, owner of Akron’s Peanut Shoppe, loans like this are crucial to keeping her business afloat.
“People are now working from home, so we don’t have all the lunch hour traffic we used to have,” Klein explained. “It was tough, but you know we had to do what we had to do. We just knew we wanted to come back.”
This iconic Akron store has been in business since 1933, but the owner said these past few years have been the toughest they’ve experienced.
The Shoppe was closed for several months during the pandemic, and on top of that, there was major construction in downtown Akron happening right across from her store.
Klein said they had to use grants and loans to stay afloat.
“We’re going to take it day by day, one week at a time,” she said. “Just think positively it will get better.”
The program will use $1 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds. Applications open on August 15 and will close by September 2, 2022.
City of Akron Web page explained that to qualify, a business must meet the following requirements:
- Become a legitimate profitable business;
- It must be placed within one Qualified Registration Tract in Akron
- Must have two to 50 employees on the payroll (including full-time or part-time employees, and owners actively working in the business)
- Stay current on income tax and property tax obligations for business with the City of Akron and Summit County
- Effective in the City of Akron on or before January 1, 2020
- Must be able to describe how the business has been adversely affected due to a reduction in business activity or increased supply chain costs related to the COVID-19 pandemic or public health-related restrictions and orders.