Greater Akron Chamber: New Grant Cycle

Summit County COVID-19 Small Business
Emergency Relief Grant Program – Expansion

Overview for Arts and Culture Sector

In this second round of support from the County of Summit, artists, gig workers, and creative businesses may be eligible to apply. This program is to support entrepreneurial and start-up businesses operating in Summit County. Nonprofits are not eligible to apply.

The amount of the grant will be a maximum of $5,000 for businesses with 2-30 employees and a maximum of $2,000 for businesses with one employee.


To be eligible for grant funds under the Program, Summit County businesses must meet the following requirements, as of March 15, 2020:

  • Must be a for-profit business impacted by COVID-19 (Non-profit are not eligible)
  • The business must be located in Summit County and must have been in operation for at least fifteen months prior to March 15, 2020.
  • At least 50% of employees must be full-time residents of Summit County.
  • Must have the potential to continue to operate successfully following the pandemic
  • Ideally should have paperwork filed with the State of Ohio indicating the business’ status as a corporation or LLC.  If no such paperwork has been filed, then legally, the business is likely classified as either a sole proprietorship or partnership. Sole proprietorships and partnerships may apply, but need to provide documentation of its existence as a business, including, but not limited to income tax returns for the business, trade name registrations, business banking or credit accounts, or similar documents.
  • To be eligible for a grant in the amount of up to $5,000, the business must employ between 2-30 employees.
  • Owner operated businesses with no employees are eligible for a maximum of $2,000
  • To be an “employee,” a person must work at least 20 hours per week for the business. Independent contractors may also be included in the definition of employee, so long as they similarly work at least 20 hours per week for the business. In other words, a formal employee (receiving a W2 at the end of the year) as well as an independent contractor (receiving a 1099) both count toward the definition of an employee.
  • Note that businesses that employ over 30 employees are not eligible. To fall under the 30 employee limit, the business does not need to count the owners of the business.
  • Business cannot be in bankruptcy proceedings.
  • The business must be current on all Summit County municipal and Joint Economic Development District income tax obligations and Summit County property tax obligations.
  • Businesses will need to provide their federal employer identification number, or, if the business does not have a federal employer identification number, the social security number under which the business operates.

To review what would make your business ineligible, please follow this link:

Application Process

  • Submit an application by using the application link at
  • Application process opens at 12 PM on Thursday, May 14th, 2020 and closes at 9 AM on Friday, May 22, 2020.
  • Applications will be scored based on criteria reviewed by the Grant Underwriting Team.  This Team will recommend the awarding of grants based on the criteria. (See website for details)
  • Grants will be announced on Tuesday, June 2, 2020 and distribution of funds will begin following receipt of executed grant agreements then immediately distributed.
  • Applications will be received electronically via the online survey application tool. In the event that an applicant is absolutely unable to submit via the online tool, Greater Akron Chamber (GAC) will do their best to accommodate arrangements for application via paper. Submissions via fax will be time-stamped for receipt. Applications may also be received by U.S. Mail and will be time-stamped upon receipt for 5 p.m. on the date of the postmark of the application.
  • Complete submission of accurate information is the responsibility of the applicant. Given the volume of applications expected, The Greater Akron Chamber is unable to contact individual recipients related to incomplete information.

Materials Needed for Application Process

Businesses that wish to apply for a grant from the Program shall provide the following information via the program application form:

  • A complete application accessed from the link at
  • Summary level information on 2019 revenues and expenses, 2020 YTD revenues and expenses and COVID-19 impact on revenue and expenses.
  • An indication of business expenses that the business will pay with grant funds awarded from the Program.
  • Following application, you will be provided an email for all businesses applying, the first page of its IRS Form 1040, 1040-SR, 1065, 1120 or 1120- S for tax year 2019, or, if the business has not filed IRS Form 1040, 1040-SR, 1065, 1120 or 1120-S for tax year 2019, but has filed one of said forms for tax year 2018, then the first page of the same. Additionally, any business providing a Form 1040 or 1040-SR must also include the full Schedule C that was filed with the Form 1040 or 1040-SR. 

How can the money be spent?

  • Operating expenses incurred or paid after March 15, 2020 related to mandatory and voluntary closures, cancellations, and postponements of operations, activities, and events.
  • Any IRS deductible business expense can be funded with grant support resources. 
  • In addition, Sole Proprietors with owners income lost due to the impact of COVID19 may also be replaced at a maximum of 1/6th of the annual owners income amount indicated on their Federal tax return from 2018 or 2019.