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New pandemic relief programs open to S.C. businesses

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Two new pandemic relief programs are open to small and minority businesses and nonprofit organizations in South Carolina.

The Minority and Small Business Relief Grant Program (.pdf) and the Nonprofit Relief Grant Program (.pdf) will reimburse qualifying expenses for services provided or revenue lost because of COVID-19, according to a news release from the S.C. Department of Administration. The department, working with professional grant management services provider Guidehouse, will distribute grants from federal coronavirus relief funds.

Grants for minority and small businesses will range from $2,500 to $25,000, according to the release. Businesses must have 25 or fewer employees.

Grant awards for nonprofits, which must be designated as a 501(c)(3) organization and registered as a public charity in S.C., will range from $2,500 to $50,000.

The online application process for both programs begins Oct. 19, and applications must be received by Nov. 1.

For more information, contact the SC CARES Call Center at 803-670-5170 or email SCCares@admin.sc.gov. The call center will be open from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. weekdays, beginning Tuesday.

“This is an opportunity for all the small businesses that were locked out of PPP loans to receive some financial help for them to survive,” Frank Knapp Jr., president and CEO of the S.C. Small Business Chamber of Commerce, said in a news release. “These grants can be critical, especially for our self-employed and micro businesses. But since there is only a two-week application window, businesses will have to move quickly.”

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