30 New Albany businesses receive grants derived from CARES Act funding

Gary Seman Jr.
ThisWeek group
Hayley Deeter (right), owner of Hayley Gallery and Deeter Design, helps longtime customer and friend Karen Bishop of Westerville browse through the various items available at her New Albany business Dec. 16. Hayley Gallery was one of 30 local businesses to receive a grant from the $200,000 in Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act funding distributed by New Albany.

New Albany has disbursed $200,000 in Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act money to 30 businesses across the city.

The CARES Act is a $2.2 trillion economic-stimulus package enacted by the federal government in March in response to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

In November, the city created the New Albany CARES Small Business Grant Program to assist small businesses with at least two but no more than 50 employees in the community’s corporate boundaries.

The city had received federal funding for COVID-19 relief earlier this year, and New Albany City Council members wanted to designate some of those funds to assist small businesses in the community, city spokesman Scott McAfee said.

The city had to use the funding for COVID-related expenses incurred by Dec. 30, McAfee said.

The city received $530,530 in total federal funding and had costs related to staff and emergency leave, pandemic pay, equipment and software, remote work and personal protective equipment, he said.

The city used $200,000 for the grants, and the businesses receiving them could not use the funding for payroll, McAfee said.

Hayley Deeter, owner of Hayley Gallery and Deeter Design, 260 Market St., was one of the grant recipients.

The business received $5,000, according to McAfee.

“I’m grateful for the money,” said Deeter, who runs the business with her son, Paul Weinper.

The pandemic has been tough on the gallery, which was closed for eight weeks earlier this year.

Deeter also had COVID-19 and spent 10 days in the intensive-care unit while her son kept the gallery going, she said.

“It’s been very tough,” Deeter said.

With program-coordination assistance from the New Albany Chamber of Commerce, small businesses could apply for funding from Nov. 9 to 30, McAfee said.

The city received 52 applications, and 30 were found eligible for the program guidelines, he said.

All 30 eligible businesses received anywhere from $3,000 to $15,000, McAfee said.

Each eligible business fulfilled numerous criteria, such as being in operation as of Jan. 1; not being permanently closed or currently in bankruptcy; having at least two but no more than 50 employees as of March 1; being current on all local, state and federal obligations like taxes and assessments; and not having been approved or likely to be approved for business-interruption insurance or other claim as a result of the pandemic.

“This has been a trying year for many of our small businesses, and our City Council wanted to help those who made a commitment to our community,” said City Manager Joseph Stefanov. “We were glad to be able to help, and we appreciate the New Albany Chamber of Commerce’s efforts to help us coordinate the grant program with local businesses.”

Nonprofit organizations were not eligible to apply.

Sloan Spalding, mayor of New Albany and a member of City Council, said the local CARES program is just one of multiple grant programs through which companies might have applied.

Although some grants on the local level might not seem that large, they could make a big difference for smaller companies, Spalding said.

“I think all of council was surprised to see how many applicants we received,” he said. “If we had fulfilled the total number of requests, it would have been $500,000.

“Every little bit helps. There is certainly more need out there than resources available.”

gseman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekGary