Missouri State Capitol    201 West Capitol Avenue    Jefferson City, MO  65101

Telephone: 573-751-9465    Allen.Andrews@house.mo.gov

Helping Missouri Recover from the Economic Impact of COVID-19

As Missouri continues to manage the health impact of COVID-19, the state also continues to move forward with its recovery from the economic damage inflicted by the virus. The state unemployment rate fell by more than two percentage points in June and is now at 7.9 percent, which is significantly lower than the national rate of 11.1 percent. The state has also seen other strong signs of recovery including a steady increase in consumer spending.

To help further facilitate the state’s recovery, the governor and the legislature have worked together to allocate vital federal CARES Act funds for programs that will assist workers and businesses in the state’s most important industries. Over the last few weeks the governor has announced a number of programs that will keep Missouri’s economy trending upward.

Meat & Poultry Processing Grant

During the 2020 session, the legislature allocated $20 million in CARES Act funds to help meat and poultry establishments with fewer than 200 employees. This new Missouri Meat and Poultry Processing Grant is meant to increase food supply chain resilience in Missouri. Grants approved by the program will be used to increase livestock & poultry processing capacity and promote worker safety as a result of the COVID-19 public health emergency.

The reimbursement grant will be administered using a tiered system, offering up to $200,000 for each state and federally inspected establishment that also conducts slaughter. State and federally inspected establishments that further process meat & poultry products, but do not conduct slaughter, qualify for up to $100,000 in grant funds. Custom exempt establishments may receive up to $20,000. Grants will be used to reimburse eligible expenses for new and existing establishments that are incurred from March 1, 2020, through November 15, 2020.

Applications must be submitted by August 31, 2020. The deadline for all expenditure and reimbursement documentation, as well as final reporting, is November 30, 2020. To learn more about the Missouri Meat & Poultry Processing Grant, please visit https://agriculture.mo.gov/abd/financial/meatpoultrygrant.php

Nonprofit Relief and Recovery Grant

Federal CARES Act funds allocated in the state budget will also be used to provide up to $22 million for Missouri nonprofits assisting communities in response to COVID-19. The new Nonprofit Relief and Recovery Grant will support nonprofits in meeting critical and emergent needs as a result of COVID-19 and to help the organizations maintain their operations despite lower than average donations during the pandemic.

Organizations eligible for this grant are 501(c)(3) nonprofits, excluding hospitals, schools, and animal charities. Funds can be used to cover hazard pay for direct health care workers, leasing additional space for social distancing, testing costs, program payroll and supply expenses related to increased demand for nonprofit services, direct assistance to individuals and families, and more.

The Department of Economic Development will accept applications in two rounds via electronic submission. Round one will be accepted from July 22 to August 14, 2020. Round two will be accepted from August 19 to August 28, 2020. For more information on the grant program, visit https://showmestrong.mo.gov/.

Small Business Grant Program

Gov. Parson recently announced the Small Business Grant Program to provide $30 million of relief to small businesses and family-owned farms. The program will reimburse these small employers for business interruption costs due to the COVID-19 crisis.

This program is available to for-profit businesses and family-owned farms that employ 50 or fewer employees. Funds can be used to cover facility redesign and labor, air filtration systems, e-commerce website design, worker salaries during closure or reduced hours, and necessary costs to make the business more resilient as a result of COVID-19, among others.

More information about the program can be found at showmestrong.mo.gov.

PPE Retooling Grant Program

Another program funded by federal CARES Act dollars is designed to increase production of personal protective equipment (PPE) needed to help contain the spread of COVID-19. The new PPE Production Grant Program will help companies produce PPE in Missouri as part of the state’s Show Me Strong Recovery Plan.

The program assists manufacturers by awarding grant funds to reimburse companies facing high PPE production costs. Eligible uses for awarded funds under the PPE Production Grant Program include purchasing equipment and retooling, upgrading, or expanding facilities to increase PPE production.

Businesses interested in the program can learn more and apply at showmestrong.mo.gov.

Destination Marketing Organization Grant Program

Another new program will utilize $15 million in CARES Act funding to assist destination marketing organizations (DMOs). DMOs promote Missouri as a great place to visit. The program is meant to help the tourism industry make the state’s many attractions and activities safer and reinforce messaging to encourage visitors to come to Missouri and safely enjoy all there is to see and do in the state.

The funds will be administered by the Missouri Division of Tourism and will grant eligible DMOs funding for recovery efforts such as payroll relief, reimbursement for necessary safety equipment, and the initiation of marketing campaigns with messaging focused on safe travel. Eligible DMOs must have participated in the Division’s Cooperative Marketing Program in FY19, FY20, or both.

For more information, visit showmestrong.mo.gov.

As always, it is an honor to serve you.

Allen Andrews, State Representative, District 1