The Mobile Couty Commission Monday launched a new program to help small businesses that suffered “extreme hardship” due to the COVID-19 shutdown.
The Small Business Relief Fund Program is a collaborative effort with the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce. Eligible small businesses may obtain up to $25,000 in grant funding based on demonstration of need. The County is committing at least $500,000 to the program. The money is being diverted from a fund typically used for industrial economic incentives.
Initial plans to launch such a program were thwarted by Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall who said state law did not permit public funds to be used for private businesses, with the exception of incentives for large industrial or other economic development projects. County officials, however, say the program’s eligibility criteria were developed in accordance with Alabama law to ensure that funds “will promote the prosperity, contentment, and general welfare of the community.” The public benefits, according to county commissioners, include stimulating the local economy, creating additional employment opportunities, and maintaining the County’s tax base.
Applications will be reviewed by a five-person committee.
For more on the application process, click here.