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The Morris County Small Business Grant Program will begin accepting online grant applications at 8 a.m. on Feb. 14, Valentine’s Day, to help local small companies, entrepreneurs and nonprofits that have been financially hurt by the pandemic.

The program will provide grants of up to $15,000 to reimburse small businesses and nonprofit organizations for specific pandemic recovery expenses incurred on or after March 3, 2021 – a timeline established under the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), which is the source of the funding.

To be eligible, a business or nonprofit must have been in operation in Morris County on or before Jan. 1, 2019, have annual revenues of less than $5 million, employ 25 or fewer workers, and be able to document a decline in revenues or increased expenses directly related to COVID-19.

Complete program details can be found at morriscountysmallbusinessgrant.com, including eligibility guidelines, supporting documents required to submit an online application, and more. The webpage contains a countdown clock to when the application portal will open, and applicants will find the application portal on the same webpage when the system is activated at 8 a.m. Feb. 14.

The Morris County Chamber of Commerce is coordinating outreach to potentially eligible businesses, including those who may not have traditionally sought government grant funding in the past.

“We will be working with the Morris County Commissioners to connect qualifying small businesses throughout the county with this grant program,” said Meghan Hunscher, president and CEO of the Morris County Chamber of Commerce & Economic Development Corporation. “It offers an opportunity for some of them to cover costs they incurred trying to stay open or reopen while struggling to keep their employees working and meet the needs of their customers.”

Michael Stanzilis, Morris County Chamber of Commerce vice president of Membership and Government Affair, said the grants will give small businesses much needed financial relief.

“The Chamber of Commerce truly appreciates the Morris County Commissioners’ commitment to the success of our small businesses,” Stanzilis said.