WINTON – If at first you don’t succeed, then try, try again.
That old adage came into play here last week when the Hertford County Board of Commissioners, by unanimous vote, approved Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant funding to 54 local businesses.
Two weeks earlier, that entire pot of money was untouched after those making applications did not meet all the criteria to qualify for the funding, which is part of CARES Act. That federal program assists small businesses nationwide that are experiencing financial difficulties such as mandated shutdowns, employee layoffs, and operating losses as a result of ongoing efforts of the federal, state and local authorities to contain and minimize the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“After the last board meeting [on Dec. 7] we contacted those who did not completely fill out the application. The vast majority responded with all the necessary information needed to qualify for the funding,” Hertford County Manager told the commissioners gathered for a special called meeting on Dec. 17 where the request were approved.
Cotton said there were 67 applications, of which 54 qualified for the funds. He said five submitted applications that did not meet all of the funding criteria; one withdrew their application; and seven others were disqualified for not meeting the requested criteria
“Roughly 80 percent of the total applications were eligible under the criteria you as a board determined,” said Cotton. “That came after two follow-up attempts to get the necessary information from them.”
Cotton noted that during the initial round of applications, 17 businesses had outstanding tax balances with the county, which disqualified them.
“As of today, there’s only one with an outstanding tax balance,” Cotton said. “In total, that resulted in nearly $26,000 being collected in delinquent taxes to the county.”
He added that of the 16 businesses that paid their back taxes in full, they were now eligible to receive the relief funding due to paying their delinquent taxes. Those 16 are among the 54 that Cotton recommended to the board to be awarded the grants.
He explained that $10,000 is the maximum amount of grant funding that a single business is eligible to receive. None of the 54 qualified applicants received that amount.
“The grant program’s criteria called for $10,000 or twice their monthly expenses, whichever is smaller,” Cotton explained. “They all fell into the twice monthly expenses category.”
Cotton recommended that the 54 qualified applicants be awarded the grants.
“Based on the amounts in the [grant] formula and what’s remaining, I respectfully request the latitude to adjust those grants,” Cotton remarked, adding that there is less money available than what is requested.
“In working with the municipalities [who also received CARES Act funding] we may be able to pull back some of the money, roughly $30,000, they won’t be able to spend and add it to this Small Business Relief Grant program,” Cotton noted. “The county also has a couple of purchases [using CARES Act funding] we can possibly cancel and add that money to this particular fund.”
He said was $331,000 requested by the small business owners and the county has just under $300,000 to disperse.
The commissioners approved the 54 applicants and awarding the funding as devised by the county manager.
Hertford County businesses awarded the funding were:
Josef Askew (LTD Event Center)
Ocie Askew (Discount New & Used Tires)
Joyce Askew (A Classy Closet)
Jermaine Vaughan (Infinite Moments Photography)
Maria Misse (Maria Misse Attorney at Law, PLLC)
Barbara Hill-Hewett (The Highest Peak Beauty Salon)
Alicia Myrick (Second Chances Comprehensive Services)
Alex & Susan Terry (Terry’s Used Cars, Inc.)
Sonya Chamblee (Southern Roots Salon & Boutique)
Charles W. Hughes, Jr. (Charlie West’s Grill & Ice Cream, Inc.)
Shanna Harrell (Platinum Shears Salon)
Daphne Lee (Purple Pots, LLC)
Dacia Jenkins (DDR Logistics LLC)
Curtis Vinson (Curtis Vinson’s Home Improvements)
Joseph Jernigan, Jr. (Jernigan Cleaners)
Louis Velazquez (Mug Shotz Café)
Myrtle Sawyer & Dean Jernigan (Winton’s Café)
Albert M. Boone (Boone’s Showcase)
Suzanna Hoggard (The Tablespoon, LLC)
William D. Britt Sr. (Britt & Son Trucking)
Linda Cooper (Linda’s Beauty Shop)
Raymond Earngray Carey, Jr. (Carey’s Transport, LLC)
Meka Peele (Kreative Touch Beauty Salon)
Donna Brown (Hair Fashion)
Tyrell Powell (Powell’s Trucking, LLC)
Stephanie Tann (Stephanie’s Hair Salon)
Jessica Davis (Hair by Jessica Lakia)
Elliott Taylor (Nate Pop Trucking, LLC)
Todd Fennell (Fennell & Sons Trucking)
Michael Everette (M and C Transport, LLC)
Quinton Turman (Quinton’s)
James Epperson (Boosted Technologies)
Lee Sawyer (S & D Tours & Charters)
Lee Sawyer (L. S. Trucking)
Constance Thomas (Just Hair)
Sneha Juikar (Southern Mart)
David Oliver (Oliver Telecations)
Doris Gatling (Tim & Dee G’s Honeybees)
Nashun Simmons (R & N Trucking)
Deborah Sessoms (Jax Construction)
Sherri Miller (Shop hair by Sherri Beauty)
Naeem M. Ezell (Kustom Kutz)
Stanley Dixon Jr. (Dixon Cleaners)
McClary Hall III (Fades & Braids)
Kenneth Casterlow (Casterlow’s Crab Hut)
Ida Harris (Salon 21 II)
Rosa Sessoms (Styles Unlimited Beauty Salon)
Pamela Hardy (Salon 21 II)
- Perry & Son Trucking LLC
Alexander Wright, Jr. (A Chop Shop)
Hope Miller (Hope’s School of Dance)
Lashawnda Weaver (LRW1 Transport LLC)