DELAWARE, Ohio — Delaware County today announced a first phase of assistance programs for its residents and business owners.

The County Commissioners approved an initial grant of $89,000 to the United Way of Delaware County’s COVID-19 Community Response Fund, to provide financial assistance to eligible county residents. The financial assistance is a reallocation of Community Development Block Grant funds and will be earmarked specifically for rent/mortgage and utility needs. Residents who meet the standards for low-to moderate income will be able to request up to $500 per household. Follow-up authorization of the program from the Ohio Development Services Agency is expected in the next few days. Once all state documentation has been completed and approved, the United Way of Delaware County will be able to accept applications with approval anticipated to occur within 7 to 10 days. For more information, visit the United Way website.

Delaware County Economic Development Director Bob Lamb also announced at today’s session that his office is rolling out a Small Business Assistance Program that will provide up to three hours of free business counseling from a variety of financial, legal and human resource advisors based in Delaware County. The $30,000 cost to underwrite the program is being covered by a grant partnership between Delaware County and the Delaware County Finance Authority. These firms are providing their services at a substantial reduction in their fees to help Delaware County businesses: accounting firm Maloney Novotny LLC, consulting firm The Montrose Group LLC, and law firms Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP and Manos, Martin & Pergram Co., LPA.

“Starting Monday (April 20) at 10 a.m., we will begin accepting applications from local business owners,” Lamb said. “We recognize that many business owners currently are focused on keeping their operations afloat while trying to navigate the new governmental policies/programs that have become available over the past few weeks. This program is aimed at providing small businesses, up to 50 employees in size, with assistance in analyzing and reviewing their current position and finding best options to help them keep their business on track.”

Lamb added, “Delaware County and our business community came into this situation in a very strong economic position. Now is the time for us to work together and build an even stronger community.”

Starting Monday, applicants can apply by going to the Delaware County Economic Development website and clicking on the COVID-19 link.