A recent report from county staff to the Guilford County Board of Commissioners shows that a lot of businesses have been taking advantage of the county’s program to give grants of up to $10,000 to small businesses within the county.

However, the county has about $20 million to give out, and as of Thursday, June 18, it had only awarded $2.67 million of that amount.

You would think that word of a program that is basically handing out free money to small businesses hurt by the pandemic would be widely known and accessed by business leaders in the community, but county commissioners and county staff have begun to discuss running advertisements in local media publicizing the grant program since many, many area businesses that qualify haven’t applied.

According to a report provided to the commissioners, the average award so far is $5,984, with the smallest award being $33.01 and the largest being $10,000. The commissioners have discussed raising the current $10,000 grant limit since there’s so much money left in the pot. However, doing so would bring in a host of legal questions that make it likely that that current cap will stay the same.

The report reveals that the county got the highest number of applications for the money at the beginning of the program. On Wednesday, June 3, there were 241 applications for the initiative that’s being funded by a $94 million federal grant to Guilford County to provide relief from coronavirus damage. On Wednesday, June 17, that number was down to 80 applications. On June 7, the county only received 24 applications.

According to the June 18 report, at that point, 58 percent of the applications had been denied, 38 percent were approved and 4 percent were pending.