Updated: Apr 28
Toccoa City commissioners voted unanimously to redirect $6,700 of Facade Grant monies to a short term Main Street Toccoa Bridge-The-Gap Grant Fund to help downtown businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Grants will be awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis.
UPDATE: The application is entirely online. For more information, please contact Christian Hamilton at email@example.com. The application period will close when funds are disbursed or by May 15th, whichever is sooner.
This proposition to use the Facade Grant funds to provide emergency support to downtown businesses that have been impacted by the spread of COVID-19 was discussed by the Toccoa Downtown Development Authority at a called meeting on April 22. The DDA's recommendation to the City Commission was to approve the Main Street Program's proposal.
City commissioners expressed full support of the idea during today's 5 p.m. regular commission meeting, which was held via teleconference due to the social distancing requirements of the state’s COVID-19 response.
Businesses that would be eligible for Bridge-the-Gap grants include for-profit consumer-facing small retail businesses within the Main Street District, such as restaurants, retail storefronts, salons, travel agencies, and more.
Ineligible businesses would include non-profits, franchises, auto and auto body repair or sales shops, gas stations, banks, home-based businesses, government entities, or businesses less than one year in operation.
“Grant funding could be used only for the purpose of paying mortgage payments, rent, or utilities, including water, gas, electricity, or internet,” states city documentation.
The purpose of the grant funds is to help “bridge the gap as the Shelter-in-Place order is lifted and business returns to normal in this unprecedented time,” Main Street Manager Christian Hamilton stated in the proposal letter to city Manager Billy Morse. “Grants would be for $250 each, which means that funding could be provided to 27 businesses."
To request funding through a streamlined application process, businesses will need to provide poof of city licensure, certification that the businesses is in the Main Street District and has been in operation for more than one year, certification that the business has not received any federal grant or loan funding by the date the application went online, and a signed affidavit certifying that the funds would be used for the designated purposes only.
Funding will be awarded to the first 27 eligible businesses that apply.
The funding will be discontinued on July 1 and the Facade Grant reinstated.
The Main Street Toccoa Program can be reached at (706).898.5777 or firstname.lastname@example.org