Recently Stonecrest received more than $6 million from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The Act provided more than $150 billion in federal relief funds to state and local governments to help navigate COVID-19’s impact on citizens, businesses, and public health. This summer, DeKalb County received $125 million in funding, and in July, county leadership decided to share $32.6 million with 12 cities with a stipulation that the funds be dispersed by December 31.
City officials formed a Stonecrest COVID CARES Act Relief Fund Committee consisting of council members and city management and subsequently named Stonecrest’s efforts the Aaron Matthew Allen COVID Small Business Relief Program to posthumously honor the son of Stonecrest leader and entrepreneur, Bill Allen. The city’s program partners with local churches, nonprofit organizations, and Stonecrest Cares, the city’s philanthropic division, to provide COVID relief to citizens and business owners. Many of these organizations, churches, and Stonecrest Cares have already been engaged in feeding and aiding residents.
According to the Stonecrest Economic Development Director, Clarence Boone, the Allen Relief Program has three targeted objectives. “Our goals are to help stabilize businesses that have suffered during the pandemic, aid in maintaining companies’ current workforces, and provide opportunities for businesses to hire more people,” Boone said.
During the last two weeks, the city staffed a call center that contacted churches and licensed Stonecrest businesses to inform pastors and owners of the relief program. The staff directed them to the city’s website, where applications are electronically available. Boone said the committee employs four independent entities that are responsible for receiving, vetting, evaluating, and dispensing the relief funds.
Funds are still available. Stonecrest business owners may apply for assistance through a link on the homepage of the city’s website: www.stonecrestga.gov. For more information call 770 224-0200.