BEREA, Ohio — Ten more small businesses in Berea will receive $2,000 each to help weather the economic storm they are experiencing as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Berea Emergency Relief Fund grants already have assisted 43 non-home-based retail, food service and personal service businesses, which unfortunately totally depleted the fund. Business owners previously submitted applications, and the city distributed the grants on a first-received, first-awarded basis.
Councilwoman Kim Smith asked City Council on May 4 if council’s budget could be reviewed for allocated, but unused, funds to assist 12 remaining grant applicants unable to be helped during the initial payout.
Discussions at a subsequent Finance Committee meeting resulted in a recommendation to City Council during the May 18 council meeting. Council will fund 10 of the 12 business grants, deciding to keep some money in the council budget in case an unforeseen expenditure occurs.
Council took $14,000 from the wages line item, an amount that stemmed from members taking a 5 percent pay cut for the rest of the year. The other $6,000 needed to fully fund the 10 additional business grants will come from a capital improvement fund that would have been tapped to remodel Council Chambers. That renovation will be postponed.
Council members suspended the second and third readings of an appropriations ordinance and passed it unanimously on May 18, thereby making a total of