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Kent County unveils nonprofit grant program

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DOVER — Kent County nonprofits are now eligible for grants in an $8 million program, created by federal funding, to aid agencies still struggling to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Kent County COVID-19 Response Programs will include two initiatives: the COVID Loss Recovery to address financial loss during the pandemic, and COVID Capital Improvement to address unmet capital needs and improve facility conditions.

The COVID Loss Recovery program will provide grants up to $100,000 to eligible nonprofits directly affected by the pandemic during 2020 and 2021. Applicants need to provide financial documentation from the last three years to compare 2019 against 2020 and 2021 to verify the economic loss of decreased revenues and increased operating costs. 

The COVID Capital Improvement program is focused on nonprofit construction, expansion, and infrastructure improvement projects with grants up to $500,000, or up to 50% of project costs. Capital projects must be correlated to pandemic consequences and benefit the impacted population.

To be eligible, nonprofits must serve Kent County residents but do not have to be headquartered in Kent County. Grants will be awarded to nonprofits to serve four categories:

  • Children and youth, including education, counseling, childcare, food assistance, and other child and youth support service providers.
  • Disabled individuals (visual, hearing, and mobility impaired, and developmentally disabled) including education, employment assistance, transportation, food services, and other support services. 
  • Homeless individuals and families, including temporary housing providers (shelters), food assistance providers, guidance/counseling services, and other homeless support service providers. Food assistance may include providers such as food banks and pantries that offer food for children, their families, and the general public.
  • Seniors, including senior community centers, food assistance providers, transit assistance providers, and other senior support service providers. 

Kent County will use some of its share of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds, as well as federal funding from the State and Local Financial Recovery Fund, a category of the ARPA funding specifically for small business and nonprofit recovery, among other initiatives.

County officials will allocate funds evenly to nonprofits that fit the four categories but may be reallocated funding based on demand. Additional funding may be committed if need demands, and sufficient funding remains available. 

Kent County will accept applicants on a rolling basis for three months between July 28 and Oct. 28. 

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