Missouri’s New Small Business Grant Program for COVID-19 Relief
The Missouri Department of Economic Development (DED) announced a new Small Business Grant Program to assist small businesses and family farms, focusing on the industries hardest hit by COVID-19. Grants totaling $30 million are available through the DED, with individual grant amounts limited to $50,000 initially. DED began receiving applications on July 14, 2020, and will review in the order received. Predetermined industries (retail trade, accommodation, food service, healthcare, and family-owned farms) will receive priority; applications will close on August 31, 2020. Pending remaining funds, applications from other industries will be reviewed starting September 1, 2020.
Eligible applicants are for-profit businesses and family-owned farms that meet the following requirements:
- Have 50 or fewer full-time employees, including the owner(s)
- Be located and incorporated in Missouri (exception for unincorporated family farms)
- Be registered and in good standing with the Missouri Secretary of State
- Must not employ illegal workers, and must provide proof of enrollment in E-Verify
- Complete and submit Form 943 for tax clearance certificate
- Register as a vendor with the State of Missouri's MissouriBUYS system
The Small Business Grant Program is meant to reimburse for necessary expenditures related to the COVID-19 public health emergency between March 1, 2020, and November 15, 2020. The DED follows guidance from the U.S. Treasury, and therefore, eligible costs are subject to change. Eligible costs are generally those that are significantly different from planned operational costs and directly relate to the COVID-19 public health emergency. The program guidelines specifically include the following eligible costs:
- Business interruption costs from required closures
- Unemployment insurance costs if they’re not reimbursed by the federal government under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act or otherwise
- Costs to facilitate livestock depopulation due to disruptions in supply chain
Examples of expenses related to these eligible costs are:
- Hazard pay for healthcare workers
- Additional salary expense for sanitation related to COVID-19 (in excess of normal hours)
- Paid salaries during closure/reduced hours
- Redesign of facilities and related labor
- Lease for additional space to comply with social distancing standards
- Air filtration system
- One-time inventory replacement due to closure or decreased sales
- Costs related to maintaining business during COVID-19 (personal protective equipment (PPE), equipment to prescreen employees coming into work, etc.)
- Increase in solid waste disposal expenses for PPE
- Website design to accommodate e-commerce
- Required overhead expenses during closure/decreased sales
This list isn’t exhaustive and could be subject to future ineligible determinations. Grant funds can’t be used for franchise/chain entities, illegal activities, expenses that have or will be reimbursed by insurance or federal/state/local governments, and expenses not necessary to address changes related to COVID-19.
Applicants must submit supporting documentation (receipts, invoices, contracts, purchase orders, etc.) by November 15, 2020, for reimbursement. The DED reimbursement form and supporting documents may be submitted one time, unless additional funds are received. Recipients are subject to inspection of the project site by the DED up to one year following final reimbursement. Records must be maintained for five years and made available upon request.
Please visit the Missouri Department of Economic Development website for full program guidelines, eligibility, application requirements, and to initiate an application.