Centerville launches COVID-19 business relief program

Miami Valley News

CENTERVILLE, Ohio (WDTN) – The City of Centerville is offering grants to qualifying businesses through its newly-revamped Community Improvement Corporation.

Businesses with 50 or fewer employees are encouraged to apply.

The city said recipients have to provide financial proof that the business lost revenue because of COVID-19 but expect this funding to be in high demand.

Dress for a Day Bridal Boutique in Centerville had been open just a little over a year, and was just starting to hit its stride when they were forced to shut down.

The owners, Rachelle Spencer and Martin Huffstutler said business is starting to pick up again, but weddings are still a luxury that many brides are putting off.

“We missed out on seeing clients for almost two months and there’s just been a lot of concern from clients about what to expect when they get here, if we’re open, and how we’re handling things during this period,” said Spencer.

They are one of many businesses that the city of Centerville said could benefit from the nearly $200,000 grant program that is funded through the CARES act.

“We had a number of conversations with businesses where they just expressed that they were having difficulty, so it was important for us to use a portion of our funding to give them another resource to help them through this difficult time,” said Mike Norton-Smith, the development director for the City of Centerville.

Norton-Smith said businesses can receive up to $2,500, and they are targeting companies like restaurants or retail. It can be used for payroll, rent or mortgage payments, utility expense, insurance payments and facility upgrades to comply with Responsible Restart Ohio social distancing requirements.

“We anticipate the first round will go out probably in August but we anticipate the funds will be depleted probably by October if not before,” said Norton-Smith.

Spencer and Huffstutler said this will help keep dollars local and benefit their businesses and others like them.

“Say a waitress in a restaurant can now afford to buy a wedding dress, they can now plan a wedding and the wedding venues can then open up,” said Huffstutler.

The application and more information about the program is available at

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