Invest in Surry distributes $2.1 million to local nonprofits

The Invest in Surry plan has earmarked $2.1 million for grants to local nonprofit groups that serve vulnerable populations or have been impacted by the pandemic. Thirty-four nonprofits have received grants which were announced Monday evening.

The County Board of Commissioners allocated $2.1 million through the Invest in Surry program for eligible grants to local non-profit organizations earlier this year. At last week’s commissioners’ meeting, County Executive Chris Knopf released details of the decisions regarding payouts to area nonprofits.

County staff compiled applications from those submitted throughout late winter and spring and reviewed them to ensure they were consistent with the programs’ stated goals.

Applications had to pass a two-part test by the county’s finance committee to determine whether the activity had a reasonable connection to a legitimate government purpose. In addition, the application had to prove that the program was intended for the benefit of the public and “not for that of any individual or private entity”.

Other restrictions were also imposed, such as one that said organizations that had received other pandemic relief from the CARES Act or the US Bailout Act were not eligible. The size of the nonprofit organization was considered because there is an “assumption that larger organizations have more diverse funding and support options, and that support from this program should be reserved for smaller ones. non-profit organizations in the county”.

All of the restrictions had exemptions for groups “directly dedicated to caring for COVID patients,” the application documents read.

In the end, 37 applications were received for a total of $4,722,260.45 against the $2.1 million allocated; thus, some applications had to be eliminated.

Surry County has used a variety of methods to base the decision-making process on reducing the number of nonprofit grant applications to as many organizations as possible.

A request for one of the nonprofit grants could not exceed 50% of the organization’s annual operating budget. Knopf’s office noted that requests were received from groups that exceeded that threshold amount and were therefore disqualified.

Other ways to reduce the number of applicants were to impose restrictions on the use of grants. “Funding could not be used for salaries, benefits, etc. as there was no guarantee with these types of expenses that a tangible outcome would remain,” the county said.

Organizations that receive an Invest in Surry non-profit grant will receive 50% of the awarded funding in August and the remainder in February. The county’s finance office will track spending of granted funds and require reports to be submitted regularly to monitor compliance.

The nonprofits sharing the $2.1 million in grants through the Invest in Surry program are:

– Lowgap bookcase $7,204

– Elkin Library $13,110

– Hugh Chatham Hospital $300,000

– Pilot Mountain Library $41,693

– Horne Creek Farm Committee $12,915

– JJ Jones Alumni Chapter $15,200

– Birches Foundation $20,000

– Armfield Recreation Center $112,519

– Mountain Valley Hospice $27,023

– Grace Clinic $40,000

– Ministry ECHO/L’Arche $9,000

– Greater Mount Airy Habitat for Humanity $113,000

– Mount Airy Junior Women’s Club $25,000

– Dobson Rescue Squad $64,064

– Dobson Library $60,000

– Friends of Surry Youth $30,000

– Dobson Pool $10,000

– Sandy Level Community Council $6,475

– Surry County United Fund $59,205

– Mountain Rescue Pilot Squad $73,674

– Mount Airy Library $39,700

– Mount Airy Rescue Squad $40,540

– Surry County Historical Society $9,900

– Mayberry 4 legged $11,700

– Rockford Preservation Society $14,000

– NWNC Children’s Center $100,000

– Northern Regional Hospital $564,631

– Surry County Schools Education Foundation $25,000

– Surry County Helping Hand $100,000

– Tiny Tiger Rescue $29,000

– Mountain Park Rescue Squad $17,902

– Surry Medical Ministries $89,345

– YES, $6,200

– United Yadkin Valley Fund $12,000

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