Ninety-one small businesses in Blaine County have applied for and received a cash grant from the state to help cover coronavirus-related costs, according to the most recent state data available Monday afternoon.

That number only includes the first wave of grants in the governor’s Idaho Rebounds cash grants program. The first round of grants were available to businesses with fewer than 20 employees. Applications for the second round of grants, which are available to businesses with 50 or fewer employees, opened Monday.

Also on Monday, Gov. Brad Little’s office announced that self-employed Idahoans who have been economically impacted by COVID-19 may now be eligible for cash grants of up to $7,500 through the program.

“Expanding this resource to self-employed business owners should help them get back on their feet and relieve some of the financial loss brought about by this unexpected and unwelcome virus,” Little said in a statement.

As of Monday, the state has approved or issued more than 2,600 applications for roughly $26 million worth of grants, according to the governor’s office. A business may be awarded up to $10,000 to cover the cost of things like personal protective equipment, inventory, rent and utilities. The governor has made a total of $300 million available for the grants.

Applicants must have received no loans, or less than $10,000 worth of loans, through the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program or in an Economic Injury Loan Emergency Advance. Any eligible company headquartered in Idaho can apply, including LLCs, nonprofits, sole proprietorships and tribal businesses.

In Blaine County, grants have so far been approved for recipients in Ketchum, Hailey, Carey, Bellevue, and Sun Valley, according to state data; they include restaurants, shops, construction and landscaping companies, realtors, cleaning services, and other types of businesses. A full list of recipients can be found on the state’s Transparent Idaho website.

Businesses with up to 50 employees have until May 22 to apply for the second round of grants. The application cycle for self-employed individuals will start May 27.

Email the writer: gkauffman@mtexpress.com

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