Reporting and Recordkeeping
Businesses assisted through the COVID-19 Business Relief Grant program must provide ongoing reporting to the City for six (6) months once the job has been created or retained. Reporting will document program compliance and job creation/ retention (if applicable) as follows:
All Business Assisted
Small Business Assistance Program Component Only
The business will be required to provide the City with verification for all new hires resulting from the investment of CDBG funds during the term identified in the grant agreement. The City reserves the right to audit the applicant's records for compliance with terms in the agreement and monitor the business to ensure program compliance.
Business Assistance Award and Grant Agreement
The City shall meet regularly to ensure prompt decisions on each completed program application. Following a review of the application, City staff shall:
Review and either approve or deny applications for assistance
Provide direction to terminate previously approved assistance for program participants who violate program requirements
Provide recommendations for policy improvements or clarifications
Appoint a member whose responsibility it is to maintain a file of all necessary documents for each business applicant
Suppose an application is deemed incomplete or requires additional detail. In that case, applicants will be notified via email and provided two weeks to submit all additional information required. As determined necessary, the City may extend this period for individual businesses. If the City denies an application, the City shall prepare and send a letter to the applicant indicating the reason(s) for denial. It shall include notification of the applicant's right to appeal the decision per the appeals section of these guidelines.
Upon approval of a program application, eligible businesses selected for the COVID-19 Business Relief Grant program will execute a grant agreement with the City.
Grant awards will be made on a reimbursement basis for eligible costs incurred from March 1, 2020, to the present. The only exception to this is for direct payment of rental or utility arrears, which will be made directly to the landlord or utility provider. Unless otherwise agreed upon between the business and City, companies will be expected to submit all reimbursement documentation within three (3) months of the date the grant agreement is executed. Recipients may submit all reimbursement requests at a single time, or they may submit up to three (3) requests during the three (3) months.
Unless otherwise authorized by the City, before the first reimbursement, small businesses must provide documentation that one permanent FTE job was created or retained. Said job must also be held by or be made available to low- or moderate-income individuals as defined in these guidelines.
Other Program Requirements
A denied applicant file shall contain all submitted information and documentation, as well as the reason for denial (ex: incomplete information, business outside service area). A denial may be appealed by filing a written notice of appeal and any information the applicant deems relevant to the appeal with the Planning Department within seven (7) days. The Management Analyst, or their designee, shall review the information and decide within 14 days of receipt of the notice of appeal and associated documents.
Pursuant to federal regulations applicable to the source of funds used for this program, the City will underwrite Small Business Assistance applications following federal regulations at 24 CFR Part 570, Appendix A, based on the documentation and representations supplied by the applicant.
Duplication of Benefits
All applicants shall certify on the Program Application under penalty of perjury that they cannot receive, and have not received, other federal or non-federal benefits or assistance for business assistance for the same use and same period of assistance as the Program assistance. Applicants shall further certify that they will not pursue other federal or non-federal benefits for the same uses of this grant program for the period of assistance under the program. As part of the grant agreement, all applicants will execute a Subrogation Agreement and Duplication of Benefits Certification with the City. The City shall follow its Duplication of Benefits (DOB) policies and procedures.
Applicants shall certify on the Program Application under penalty of perjury that "The information provided on this form is subject to verification by HUD at any time, and Title 18, Section 1001 of the U.S. Code states that a person is guilty of a felony and assistance can be terminated for knowingly and willingly making a false or fraudulent statement to a department of the United States Government."
Employees and agents of the City will not disclose any applicant's personal confidential information as part of the program. All confidential information of applicants will be kept in a locked, secured storage facility or password-protected electronic files and unavailable to persons outside of the program. At all times, the City will abide by all requirements stated within the Privacy Act of 1974 as amended. Suppose the City receives a request for public records related to the program. In that case, only non-confidential information will be provided as verified by the City.
The COVID-19 Business Relief Grant program shall be implemented consistent with the City's commitment to State and Federal equal opportunity laws. No person shall be excluded from participation in, denied the benefit of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity funded in whole or in part with CDBG program funds on the basis of their disability, family status, national origin, race, color, religion, sex, marital status, medical condition, ancestry, source of income, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, or other arbitrary discrimination.
The City will provide reasonable accommodations and/or modifications or provide language assistance to individuals requesting assistance to benefit from the COVID-19 Business Relief Grant program's services.
If applicable, all assisted businesses must comply with Federal labor compliance requirements, including Section 3, Davis-Bacon, M/WBE requirements, and other regulations as required by the Community Development Block Grant program.
Conflict of Interest
In accordance with 24 CFR 570.611, no member of the governing body and no official, employee, or agent of the local government, nor any other person, either for themselves or those with whom they have a business or immediate family ties, who exercises policy or decision making responsibilities will financially benefit from this program.
Program Guidelines Changes or Modifications
The City may perform minor changes to these Program Guidelines involving administrative procedures, accommodations to adapt to unique applicant situations or regulatory changes. Federal regulatory requirements for the CDBG program are not subject to modification or revision.
According to federal requirements, the City may adjust the grant requirements for individual businesses as determined necessary for the program's effectiveness.