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story.lead_photo.caption FILE: The Callaway Chamber of Commerce urges people to shop local and support small businesses.

A number of COVID-19 grant programs and relief funds are available at the state, local and federal level.

For businesses, this flood of resources can be difficult to navigate — a grant program might require pages of documentation to apply and loans must be repaid.

"We want to help our businesses," Callaway Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Tamara Tateosian said. "Nothing matters more than keeping them alive."

Tateosian directs local business to the chamber's social media accounts and website, where the organization has gathered COVID-19 resources at callawaychamber.net/covid-19-resources/.

Since March, the Chamber has been emailing members, frequently three or four times a week, with updates.

"We're trying to help them wade through that process," Tateosian said.

Tateosian urges Callaway County residents to shop locally and invites business owners to reach out to the chamber for support, as well as assistance with navigating grants.

"They can contact me, that's what I'm here for," Tateosian said.

On Wednesday, Gov. Mike Parson announced a $22 million grant program for nonprofits and a $20 million grant program for meat and poultry processors on Wednesday.

Earlier in July, $30 million was dedicated to small business relief and $20 million was announced to increase production of personal protective equipment. Other state funds are also still available for coworking and incubator facilities, the tourism industry, schools and libraries.

State grant programs

Small Business Grant Program: Small businesses and family-owned farms can apply for a grant to cover reimbursement costs of business interruption caused by required COVID-19 closures until Aug. 31. The program prioritizes retail trade, accommodation, food service, health care and family-owned farms. Other industries can apply beginning Sept. 1 if funds are available. More information about how to apply is available at ded.mo.gov/content/small-business-grant-program.

Nonprofit Relief and Recovery Program: 501(c)(3) nonprofits dedicated to addressing critical needs resulting from the pandemic in areas of homelessness prevention, job training, food insecurity, at-risk youth services, child care, and academic and educational support can apply by Aug. 14 for the first wave of grants. Other nonprofits suffering from effects of the pandemic will be able to apply Aug. 19-28. Email [email protected] for an application.

Missouri Meat and Poultry Processing Grant Program: Slaughter and processing facilities will have fewer than 200 employees that can apply for funds to improve food supply resilience by increasing slaughter, expanding processing capacity or promoting worker safety related to COVID-19. More information is available at agriculture.mo.gov/abd/financial/meatpoultrygrant.php.

Coworking and Incubator Grant Program: Nonprofits that operate coworking facilities, incubators and event space dedicated to driving economic development of an area can apply for up to $50,000 by Aug. 17. More information is available at hmissouritechnology.com/cares-act-funding.

Tourism Industry Relief: Destination marketing organizations can apply for reimbursement funds for marketing campaigns focused on resuming tourism activities and implementing safety protocols. Learn more at industry.visitmo.com/programs/2021-program-info.

PPE Production Grant Program: Manufacturers, nonprofits and other entities are eligible for a grant to reimburse certain costs related to retooling existing facilities to manufacture personal protective equipment. More information is available at ded.mo.gov/content/show-me-strong-personal-protective-equipment-ppe-retooling-program.

Local programs

Fulton Area Development Fund Small Business Recovery Grant: Small businesses in Callaway County can receive funding to help with COVID-19-related business expenses. Visit www.callawaychamber.net/covid-19-resources/ to find the application and return documents to the Callaway Chamber of Commerce by Aug. 7.

Callaway County CARES Act Mitigation Grant Funds: Funds from the county can help businesses cover reopening costs, as well as improvements to help protect employees and customers. More information is available at callawaychamber.net/covid-19-resources/.

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