COVINGTON — Newton County will receive $4.8 million in funding under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, a $2.2 trillion economic stimulus bill passed by Congress in March.

The Board of Commissioners last week approved a proposal by County Manager Lloyd Kerr for use of the federal funds in three specific areas: reimbursement for Newton County’s COVID-19-related expenses between March and Dec. 31, 2020 — $1,302,059; small business grants — $1,769,710; and community grants to organizations, families and individuals — $1,769,710.

Kerr said the small business grants will be for businesses in unincorporated Newton County. A minimum of 60% of the grants will be required to be spent on payroll and payroll-related expenses. To be eligible a business must have a Newton County business license and have been in business since March 1, 2019, must be for-profit, and have no more than 100 employees.

Kerr said he is working with the Covington-Newton County Chamber of Commerce to establish a committee that will review applications and determine grant awards.

Kerr also said he is working with Family Connection and the Salvation Army to form a review committee for the community grant program. The committee will determine the application and review process, documentation requirements, selection criteria and award amounts.

The city of Covington has been tentatively approved to receive $166,667 in CARES funding. The city plans to use the funds for site preparation and utilities for the construction of the southeast apron at Covington Municipal Airport.

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I have been editor of the Rockdale Citizen since 1996 and editor of the Newton Citizen since it began publication in 2004. I am also currently executive editor of the Clayton News Daily, Henry Daily Herald and Jackson Progress-Argus.

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