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Clinton County will use $2 million in pandemic relief money for small business grants

Clinton County Courthouse
Posted at 6:45 PM, Oct 12, 2021

Clinton County is planning to use $2 million of the COVID-relief money it got from the federal government this summer for small business grants.

But county officials are still deciding what to do with the remaining $5.5 million and an additional $7.5 million they expect to receive next summer.

"We also have a broadband effort that's just getting underway, in fact we'll be meeting on Thursday to talk about that...and the health department as well. We're looking at reimbursing fees to restaurants that they paid for licensing fees," Clinton County Administrator Controller Craig Longnecker said.

The county has been working with an adviser since the end of August to ensure they use the money they received through the American Rescue Plan Act appropriately.

"The requirements are very onerous and we wanted to make sure that we were able to follow all of them," Longnecker said. "And, we wanted to be thoughtful about it and make sure we did it right."

Longnecker said they're hoping to use some of it to replace revenue from jail bed rentals that went away during the pandemic. Pre-COVID, the Clinton County jail rented out about half of its nearly 200 beds to other counties and the state of Michigan.

"A big portion of what we're going to use the money for is the fact that we lost revenue during 2020 due to loss of bed rentals at the jail and a reduction in district court activity," Longnecker said. "It caused us to lose a little over $1 million in 2020."

The small business grant program will be announced officially by the Lansing Area Economic Partnership next week.

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