NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC – The New Hanover County Board of Commissioners approved a budget outline for spending more than $4 million in funds allocated from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, including reimbursement for COVID-19 response, continued testing and a small business economic incentive grant program.
The $2.2 trillion CARES Act was signed into law by President Donald Trump on March 27, in part providing $4 billion in aid to the state of North Carolina. Subsequently, the NC General Assembly and Governor Roy Cooper agreed on a package providing $150 million in immediate aid to counties. New Hanover County received $4,064,953 in aid.
“These funds were desperately needed to assist local governments and small businesses that have been deeply impacted by this pandemic, and to continue response and economic recovery,” said New Hanover County Board of Commissioners Chair Julia Olson-Boseman. “The presentation today outlined a robust, far-reaching plan to address many needs to respond to the crisis today and in the future.”
The funds will be used to reimburse the county, city of Wilmington and towns of Carolina Beach, Kure Beach and Wrightsville Beach for eligible costs incurred to date to respond to the virus. It will also fund continued testing, cleaning and disinfecting, resources for the county’s aging adults, enhanced social distancing measures in facilities and additional municipal support.
The plan adopted by the Board also includes a $1.3 million Small Business Economic Incentive Grant program to provide grants to small businesses in New Hanover County. The grant program is explicitly allowed as a use of the funds, according to guidance from the U.S. Treasury Department.
The program will be targeted to businesses with fewer than 25 employees that are located in New Hanover County and whose owners live in New Hanover County. Other details, including the application process will be refined and in place in order to be presented, and a public hearing to be held at the Board of Commissioners’ June 1 meeting.
As of 10 a.m. on May 19, there have been 140 lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in New Hanover County. For more information about COVID-19 in New Hanover County, visit Health.NHCgov.com, call our Public Health Coronavirus Call Center at 910-798-6800, and follow the county’s trusted social media pages: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Nextdoor.