To help mitigate the impact of the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 public health crisis, Richland County will make $1 million in financial support available to small businesses and nonprofits through a grant program.

On Tuesday, County Council approved the COVID-19 Pandemic Relief Grant Program, which allocates $500,000 for small businesses affected by the economic downturn and $500,000 for nonprofits addressing community needs, such as food insecurity for low- to moderate-income households, rent and utility assistance.

In summary, the County’s initial COVID-19 community response is as follows:

  • $500,000 in grants for small businesses
  • $500,000 to address food insecurity for seniors and low- to moderate-income households
  • $250,000 for nonprofits to address other community needs, such as rent and utilities

Of those allocated funds, Richland County already has awarded $250,000 to help provide food for vulnerable seniors in the community.

The economic relief grant program is designed to help small businesses affected by the COVID-19 health crisis, with an emphasis on three categories: retail trade; food service; and the arts, entertainment and recreation sectors. However, any small business can apply for a grant.

Small businesses in unincorporated Richland County can apply for funds to cover payroll expenses, rent and mortgage payments, insurance costs, utility expenses or similar expenditures occurring in the course of business.

Nonprofits that directly assist residents of unincorporated Richland County can apply for funds to put toward economic relief, food services for low- to moderate-income households, and other needs, including rent and utilities.

The application process opened April 27. The deadline to apply is June 30.

Applications must be submitted via ZoomGrants through the County’s website,

For more information on the grant program, contact Tyler Kirk, County grants coordinator, at 803-576-5459 or email [email protected].