WCEDC accepting applications for relief funds

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The Wood County Economic Development Commission (WCEDC) was given the go-ahead by Wood County commissioners to begin taking applications for COVID-19 relief for county businesses.

Commissioners approved $200,000 of unclaimed capital credit (UCC) funds to be used by the WCEDC’s COVID-19 relief fund. 

WCEDC Executive Director Roger Johnson is ready to get the ball rolling.

“The commissioners and Judge Hebron have really been behind this,” he said. “When we first took this to the commissioners I am thankful we had the letters from people about what was happening in their lives due to the virus. I think it had an effect on the commissioners and they wanted to help. The money available went from $100,000 to $200,000. We didn’t expect for that to happen, we were just happy to get the $100,000. There are people who are really hurting in their lives and businesses. We decided we had to do something.”

The WCEDC is going to allocate funds to assist businesses in Wood County to manage economic hardships endured as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Recognizing there are various federal, state and local programs that exist to assist businesses in specific areas of operations such as payroll, the WCEDC will focus its distribution as a resource to provide general financial assistance to be used at the discretion of the business to keep its operation viable.

Businesses can contact Johnson at his office by calling 903-768-2402 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“That’s not exactly correct. I put the number from my office to the cell phone so people can get hold of me 24/7,” Johnson added. “And anyone can also send questions through email at rjohnson@mywoodcounty.com. We will work to turn around grant funds quickly upon the conclusion of the 15-day submission period.”

The WCEDC will make payments directly to the businesses upon review and approval of the requests. As far as the size of the payments, Johnson said it could be adjusted.

“We can do whatever we need to do,” he said. “We can make adjustments to fit the need if that is something that needs to happen. All people have to do is call me and I will get them set up. I can send them the paperwork, email it to them or come by the office and pick it up. We want the whole county to benefit from this.”

The WCEDC requests that local economic development commissions collect requests from their communities and make recommendations to the WCEDC. For communities without an EDC, the request is that the city manager or city secretary oversees the distribution recommendations.

For businesses in an unincorporated area of the county requests should be emailed to Wood County Economic Development Commission, rjohnson@mywoodcounty.com. A business must be located in Wood County and must be able to illustrate financial hardship as a result of COVID-19. 

Recipients are subject to audit on the use of the funds and will be required to return funds if expenses are not associated with COVID-19 hardship. With the exception of area chambers of commerce, non-profits do not qualify for this program unless directly involved with building commerce for Wood County businesses and then at the discretion of the WCEDC.

Some of the other guidelines include 50 employees or fewer; no more than $7 million in gross annual revenue; if an owner has more than one business in Wood County, the owner is eligible for application for up to three businesses and all businesses must be located in Wood County. The application deadline is June 30 at noon, and a business receiving grant funding may be notified by email on or about July 10.