Seneca CARES Small Business Relief Grant Program

Program Status

This information covers the Seneca CARES program for rural Seneca County and Tiffin. The application period is open through November 9, 2020. The State of Ohio $10,000 grant program also opened on November 2, 2020.

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Program Guidelines

Seneca County is providing grants to eligible local businesses with between 2 and 30 employees hurt by the coronavirus up to $10,000 for eligible expenses. Eligible businesses with less than two employees are eligible for up to $5,000. Read all the eligibility requirements in the Program Guidelines here.

Funds will be made available in the following order:

  • Tier I – Rural Seneca County businesses located outside of Fostoria and Tiffin will be funded first. Businesses located in Hopewell Township, Clinton Township, Eden Township, Bloom Township and the Village of Bettsville will have exclusive access to their jurisdiction’s dedicated funding.
  • Tier II – Then, if funds are available, eligible Tiffin non-profits will be funded. 
  • Tier III – Then, Tiffin businesses who received $6,000 and $3,000 under the Tiffin CARES program will be eligible for up to an additional $4,000 and $2,000 respectively. At the same time, any eligible Fostoria businesses not funded under Fostoria’s program due to lack of available funding due to high demand could be funded. We plan for Tiffin businesses to be able to apply under an expedited process that will allow them to use the same information and documents previously submitted to the Tiffin CARES program. Expenses covered already by the Tiffin and Fostoria programs cannot also be covered by the Seneca CARES program.
  • Tier IV – Then, any eligible Tiffin businesses who did not apply for funding in the first round could be funded.

Apply beginning October 28

The online application is open at 12 p.m. Wednesday, October 28, 2020, and closes at 5 p.m. on Monday, November 9. Apply here.

In order to submit an application, a business will need to enter or upload the following information:

  • You need to determine the type of expenses you intend to pay with the grant funds before applying. (View eligible expenses here.)
  • You will need to upload the first page of your 2019 federal tax return, or 2018 return, if the 2019 is not available (IRS Form 1040, 1040-SR, 1065, 1120 or 1120-S). (Forms 1040 and 1040-SR must also include the full Schedule C.)
  • You will need to upload a completed, signed, and dated IRS Form W-9 (obtain form). Any grant received is considered taxable income.

Get Answers & Information

  • Email questions to They will be answered in the order received within 24 hours and posted to a Frequently Asked Questions page.
  • Attend an upcoming information session.
    • Past dates:
      • Monday, October 26 at 10:00 a.m.
      • Thursday, October 29 at noon.
    • Upcoming date:
      • Wednesday, November 4 at 7 p.m.
    • Attend one of the information sessions in one of the following ways:

Process Schedule

  • October 28, 2020: Application Opens

  • November 09, 2020: Application Closes

  • November 21, 2020: Announcement of Funding. Beginning of Drafting and Distribution of Grant Agreements. Then, Execution of Grant Agreements and Disbursement of Funds.

  • December 15, 2020: Eligible expenditures must be made on or before this day

  • 120 Days after Disbursement of Funds: Close Out Report Due