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Idaho to provide $300 million in grants to small businesses. Here’s what to know

Idaho

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BOISE (Idaho Statesman) — Idaho Gov. Brad Little announced Thursday that $300 million in help is on the way for the state’s small businesses.

The state will make the money available in grants to up to $10,000 per business, he said at a news conference. The money will come from Idaho’s $1.25 billion share of coronavirus relief that Congress passed in March.

“With this step, we will be able to support more than 30,000 of Idaho’s smallest businesses,” Little said. “Many of these businesses are the backbone of their communities.”

He said that no other state has made so large a share of its federal relief money available to small businesses as cash support.

The grants are limited to businesses that have not received Paycheck Protection Program loans or whose loans were less than $10,000, Little said. The paycheck protection program offers businesses loans that do not have to be repaid if they spend at least 75% of it to keep, or rehire, workers who otherwise would be laid off.

Grant applications will be screened by the state’s coronavirus financial advisory committee to ensure that the grants are “carefully targeted” for small businesses, Little said. The full criteria for eligibility for the grants will be released online at rebound.idaho.gov at 9 a.m. Tuesday, he said.

The application process is expected to begin the following Monday, May 11, and will be administered by the Idaho State Tax Commission. Small businesses will need to create a Taxpayer Access Point account and should do so as soon as possible, Little said. Information on how to set up an account is available on the Rebound Idaho website.

In the interest of transparency, Little said all recipients of the money will be displayed at transparent.idaho.gov.

He added that the move to make grants available to businesses was recommended by his state economic rebound advisory committee Little said he hopes the money will “ensure a path back to prosperity and restore the trajectory we had just 70 days ago.”

Before the coronavirus pandemic, Idaho was preparing to announce a record-high employment rate and record-low unemployment rate, Little said.

“In a matter of weeks, now we’ve got over 110,000 people in the (unemployment) system,” he said. “We are basically going from zero to 100 miles an hour in that area.”

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