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Kent County officials have provided $40,000 to help minority business owners facing language barriers access COVID-19 relief funding.

The West Michigan Asian American Association Inc. explained to county officials the importance of hiring translators, writers and financial experts to help Asian-owned businesses apply for some of the $25 million in grants the county received to help small businesses during the pandemic.

The Small Business Recovery Program was created by Kent County using a portion of $114.6 million in federal money received through the CARES Act in response to coronavirus.

As of July 1, 865 businesses applied for funding through the Kent County Business Recovery Program.

In Kent County, roughly 20 different languages and different variations of dialects are spoken within the Asian Pacific community, Goei explained, which is why they sought out funding to help businesses owners with the application process.

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