By Monmouth County Freeholder Director Tom Arnone
I’d like to start by thanking all of the veterans who have served our country. We should continue to recognize their sacrifices throughout the entire year. It is because of their sacrifices we continue to enjoy our freedoms. Let us also not forget the sacrifices made by their families!
On a separate note, last Monday my fellow Freeholders and I hosted a press conference to announce the expansion of the Monmouth County CARES Economic Assistance Grant Program, assistance for special needs schools and provide COVID-19 updates.
I am pleased to announce that Monmouth County is allocating CARES Act funding to vocational and special needs schools.There are some things that cannot be taught virtually, including culinary arts, biotechnology and health care. Because of the critical need for hands-on learning, the County vocational schools have worked tirelessly to safely return students to the classroom. To assist them in this endeavor, the County will be allocating $500 per full time student and $250 per share time student.
We are also going to be allocating $500 per student to the ten special needs schools in Monmouth County in order to help enhance their education. The students and families in these schools rely heavily on structure and so the schools have had to dedicate their efforts to figure out how to bring them into the schools safely.
Additionally, I gave updates of the “Show Must Go On in Monmouth” initiative as well as the Monmouth County CARES Economic Assistance Grant Program for small businesses.
As you may recall, at our last press conference I announced “The Show Must Go On in Monmouth!” program. I am happy to say that all performing arts organizations in Monmouth County that we know of have been contacted. If any performing arts company has not been contacted, please contact the Monmouth County Administrator’s office at 732-431-7384.
Additionally, I am excited to announce that we are expanding the Monmouth County CARES Economic Assistance Grant Program and allowing small businesses to apply for an additional $10,000—for a total of up to $20,000 in grant money.
Any small business that has already applied and submitted expenses in excess of $20,000 does not need to do anything—your application will be reviewed and eligible expenses will be processed. If you submitted more than $10,000 but less than $20,000 and have incurred additional expenses, please submit them as soon as possible.
If you are a small business that has yet to apply for the grant, I encourage you to do so as soon as possible. To apply for a grant, small business owners can go to www.MonmouthCountyCares.comor call 732-375-2196, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The application is relatively simple and all you need is your tax return to get started. To date, we have received more than 2,776 applications and dispersed more than $18.4 million.
Lastly, I want to remind everyone to continue to please support our restaurants and other small businesses throughout the county. As cooler weather creeps in, it is important we continue to support our local businesses. Fall is one of the best times to visit Monmouth County and our restaurants, downtowns and stores have a lot to offer to our residents and visitors long past the last warm beach day. Please continue to support our small businesses however you can!
To find fun Fall activities in Monmouth County, you can visit www.growninmonmouth.com .
As always, it’s a privilege to serve as your Freeholder.