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Portman touts $3.75M to Appalachia: Grant to help areas impacted by COVID-19

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, applauded the Appalachian Regional Commission on Monday for awarding a $3.75 million grant for COVID-19 Emergency Response for Small to Medium Enterprises to Appalachian Community Capital.

Portman’s office said ACC will use this funding to help the region’s development finance institutions make up for lost revenue as they temporarily defer loan payments. ARC estimates this grant will serve 400 businesses and non-profits, retain 200 jobs and leverage more than $15 million in private investment.

“As Southeast Ohio continues to feel the consequences of this unprecedented pandemic, this federal grant will help businesses and nonprofits weather this storm, keep workers on payroll, and save jobs,” Portman said in a news release. “I applaud ARC for its work to strengthen economic development efforts in Appalachia and support businesses through this time because of their importance to the region’s economy.”

ARC federal co-chairman Tim Thomas said timely access to operating capital is critical for small businesses during the current state of economic crisis.

“Community development lending entities throughout the Appalachian Region have been working hard to ensure the availability of this capital, and this program will help them to continue to do so,” Thomas said.