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More than $5.1 million in grants provided to 180 nonprofits through federal CARES Act funds

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Nearly 200 local nonprofit organizations have been awarded $5,135,000 in grants from the County of Summit and Akron Community Foundation through the Summit County COVID-19 Emergency Relief Grant Program, as well as through an additional contribution from Summit DD. The program, announced earlier this fall, is providing federal CARES Act funding to 501(c)(3) organizations throughout Summit County that provide for the basic needs of underserved County residents, as well as nonprofits in the arts and cultural sector.

"When individuals and families are in need, they often turn to local nonprofit organizations for help. After experiencing a surge in demand for COVID-19 related assistance, our nonprofits suddenly found themselves in need," said Summit County Executive Ilene Shapiro. "These grants will help many local nonprofits stay in operation during these trying times, and ensure our residents are able to access critical basic needs services. We are grateful Akron Community Foundation stepped up to help us quickly and efficiently distribute the funds."

In this round of funding, 113 organizations received $3,090,000 in funding for basic needs, 57 organizations received $1,605,000 in arts and culture-focused funding, and 10 nonprofits received $440,000 to support the needs of residents with developmental disabilities. From paying for personal protective equipment to technology upgrades incurred from taking services virtual, these funds will help local organizations defray unexpected costs incurred this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Nonprofits are struggling with the long-term economic consequences of COVID-19 just like businesses and individuals, but there were very few formal assistance programs in place to provide support," said County Council Vice President Elizabeth Walters. "I am proud of my fellow council members and Executive Shapiro for stepping up to fill this need for nonprofits."

The Summit County COVID-19 Relief Grant program was approved by Executive Shapiro and Summit County Council on Sept. 21 after meeting with nonprofit leaders who expressed concern about the long-lasting economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Grants ranged from $2,500 to $50,000 and must be spent by Dec. 30.

"It’s an understatement to say this has been a difficult year for so many – our local nonprofits included. Not only have they been feeling the strain due to unexpected costs and programmatic changes, but they’ve faced an increased need for their services from the community, too," said John T. Petures Jr., president and CEO of Akron Community Foundation. "I’m so pleased we could work with the county to get millions of dollars back into the community now when it’s needed most."

For a full list of grant recipients, please visit: www.akroncf.org/CARESgrants.

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