Rio Cantina, COVID-19

Waitress Paola Quesada, on duty during a May afternoon at Rio Cantina, a few yards from SRP Park, checks in with customers Alex Tucker, left, Kim Prince and Carlie Shoup. Seated, clockwise from center, are Kim Prince, Carlie Shoup, Alex Tucker, Jennifer Shoup and Charles Shoup. Restaurants are included in the list of eligible businesses for the city of North Augusta's small business grant program. 

Help is available for business owners in North Augusta who are past due on city utility payments or made purchases related to the coronavirus pandemic. 

North Augusta’s small business grant program – established in response to COVID-19 – is taking applications now through June 26, according to a post on the city’s website.

The grant program is set up to assist local businesses that have experienced financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

North Augusta City Council passed on June 1 a resolution establishing the program.

The funds for the grant program – $25,000 – will be taken from funds for the Facade Improvement Program.

The resolution states that the mayor and City Council “have determined that a small business grant program is in the best interest of the city and should take precedence over the Facade Improvement Program at this time due to the impacts of COVID-19 on the small-business community.”

The competitive application period opened June 15 and will be open until June 26 at 5 p.m.

Businesses could be eligible for up to $2,000 of grant money, which doesn't have to be paid back.

Requests for grants must be related to COVID-19-related expenses or to cover past due city utility bills since March 13. Businesses must have proof of purchase, such as a receipt or invoice. 

Eligibility and requirements are posted on the city’s website, including that business must have a brick and mortar story, be located inside the city limits and have been open for six months prior to March 13, 2020.

The link to the application and more information about the program can be found on the city’s website at

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