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County businesses, nonprofits seek federal money to help with pandemic recovery

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More than 160 businesses and nonprofit organizations in Cumberland County have applied for financial assistance to help them recover from the pandemic, county officials said.

The county is reviewing the applications to determine eligibility for the federal COVID-19 relief funding.

As of Friday, 110 businesses have applied for the American Rescue Plan Small Business Economic Assistance Program, the county said. Their applications total $5.4 million.

The county also received 54 applications from nonprofit organizations totaling $22.7 million, the county said.

The Cumberland County Board of Commissioners previously allocated $3.5 million to assist small businesses and $3.5 million to help nonprofits.

The purpose of the Small Business Economic Assistance Program is to provide short-term financial assistance to small businesses that suffered an economic hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

County Manager Amy Cannon said Monday during a special meeting of the Cumberland County Board of Commissioners that the county was probably looking at 45 days before it could cut the first check.

The county received an allocation from the Cononavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds of the American Rescue Plan of 2021 through the U.S. Department of Treasury.

The county is reviewing the applications to determine their eligibility, said Brenda Jackson, the project manager of the American Rescue Plan program. The staff has determined that some applicants are not eligible because they’re based out of the county.

 “We’re going to have to go through all,” Jackson said. “They’re not all the same.”

Jackson said the recommendations for financial assistance will be brought before the board.

The deadline to submit applications is March 31.

Michael Futch covers Fayetteville and education for CityView TODAY. He can be reached at mfutch@cityviewnc.com. Have a news tip? Email news@CityViewTODAY.com.

Cumberland County, Board of Commissioners, American Rescue Plan funding, nonprofits, businesses, COVID-19, economic assistance