Applications open for Opelika small businesses and residents for help with bills, expenses

Updated: Aug. 3, 2020 at 6:44 PM EDT
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OPELIKA, Ala. (WTVM) - Many families, as well as small businesses, are struggling financially amid the coronavirus pandemic, but a new grant program in Opelika aims to help.

Applications are now open for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) CARES Act.

Opelika Mayor Gary Fuller said there’s $68,000 within the grant to help eligible Opelika residents. Families who meet the necessary requirements can get up to $1,500 from the grant.

“[It’s] for expenses,” Fuller said. “It could be rental, mortgage, utility payment assistance.”

According to Fuller, there are some eligibility requirements. Applicants must have low to moderate income, have experienced at least 30 percent loss of their income from COVID-19, must live within Opelika city limits, and are not already getting other benefits like social security or disability.

“There’s not going to be any duplication if someone already has funding,” Fuller said. “This is for those folks, and I think we have a good number, that have sort of fallen through the cracks.”

According to the mayor, there’s an additional amount of funding in the grant of approximately $120,000 just for small businesses. Eligible Opelika small businesses can receive up to $3,000.

Fuller said there is an online application community members have to fill out, but he said the paperwork is worth it.

“We want to help those folks that need help, and that’s what this will do, he said.

Those in the area said this help could make a real difference.

“I think it’ll make a lot of people be like, ‘Okay, there’s hope to keep staying positive,‘” shared one area resident.

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