Johns Creek extends deadline for more businesses to apply for CARES grants

The Johns Creek City Council has named Assistant City Clerk Terri Lea Hugie interim city clerk, to serve while the city seeks a succesor to Joan Jones, who held that office for 14 years before retiring at the end of December.
The Johns Creek City Council has named Assistant City Clerk Terri Lea Hugie interim city clerk, to serve while the city seeks a succesor to Joan Jones, who held that office for 14 years before retiring at the end of December.

Credit: City of Johns Creek

Credit: City of Johns Creek

Johns Creek wants more small businesses to apply for CARES Act funds. The city has extended its application deadline for the grant in order to get the word out.

The city directed $2.7 million to the Johns Creek CARES Business Grant program in November to help small businesses experiencing hardship during the pandemic. But based on the applications so far, the city still has about $1.2 million available to help out local establishments, Assistant City Manager Kimberly Greer said Monday.

Mayor Mike Bodker estimates that only about half of the small businesses in the city have applied for the grants.

City Council extended the deadline from Monday to Feb. 22 during a Monday work session.

“Council members have made some extraordinary effort to get out to businesses to let them know,” Bodker said. “Because again, it’s often hard to find these things out even with a direct mail (and more).”

Most businesses approved for the funds would receive about $5,000, officials said.

The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act funds were part of an allocation the city received from Fulton County.

Officials figure there are about 800 small businesses in Johns Creek but only 382 applications have been submitted.

Owners who didn’t have a business license in 2019 or before March 15, 2020 were initially disqualified from receiving the grant. And some businesses were unaware that the funds are available, when contacted by City Councilwoman Stephanie Endres. She said a couple of business owners initially thought she was a stranger running a scam when she phoned them.

In extending the deadline, businesses that operated in 2020 and obtained licenses after March could now be eligible for the CARES Act funds. The city is considering waiving a requirement for businesses to have a physical brick and mortar location and whether the grant will be extended to home businesses and others with functions that normally operate remotely such as office cleaning businesses.

Information on the grant is available on the Johns Creek website. Visit johnscreekga.gov/businesses/resources/jc-cares.

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