A COVID-19 relief grant program for Dunwoody-based small businesses will begin accepting applications Dec. 21.

The “Dunwoody Cares” program allows owners to request rent, lease or mortgage reimbursement with a maximum award of $30,000 for each applicant. The application website is at dunwoodycares.com.

“Our goal is to provide as much support as possible in these unprecedented times,” said city Economic Development Director Michael Starling in a press release.

The program defines small businesses as those with two to 50 employees.

Grant funds can be used to reimburse costs for up to six months, from April through September.

To qualify, a business must be in good standing with the city and have been in operation for a minimum of one year prior to March 1.

Funding is limited and will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis.

“This is the most important step we’ve taken so far in support of small businesses in Dunwoody,” said Mayor Lynn Deutsch. “We understand the significant struggles they have faced and hope this can provide some relief.”

This is the third program funded through the city’s portion of DeKalb County’s disbursement of funding through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. In October, the Vulnerable Population Program provided $400,000 in grants to eight local not-for-profit organizations serving people impacted by the pandemic.

The council also has approved $150,000 in CARES Act funding for the city’s Al Fresco Matching Grant Program, which provides grants to local businesses that want to begin or expand outdoor operations.