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Fountain gets $2.4 million in COVID relief funds

$1.4 earmarked for local business grants

 

Last updated 5/27/2020 at 12:55pm



Fountain will receive $2.4 million of El Paso County’s share of the federal relief funds related to COVID-19, and city leaders plan to give $1.4 million of that back to local businesses in the form of micro-grants.

On Tuesday the City Council voted to approve – in draft form – a COVID-19 Business Impact Assistance Program that could provide Fountain businesses up to $15,000, depending on certain criteria.

“Obviously we have a lot of businesses, and we want to be able to spread that out as much as we can,” City Manager Scott Trainor said.

The grants would be distributed as long as funds are available, with priority given to those who didn’t have the option to work from home; those whose owners are Fountain residents; non-franchise businesses; etc.

Other businesses and franchises operating in Fountain may qualify but would have lower priority, Trainor said.

Businesses would be eligible for the grants if they have 20 or fewer employees on March 10 (the date of the governor’s disaster declaration). The program would cap distributions at $3,000 per employee with a maximum of $15,000 per business.

According to the draft, “the program is open to small businesses and restaurants with a brick-and-mortar presence within the city’s boundaries, including locally-owned franchises, that can document negative financial impacts resulting from COVID-19 such as increased costs, reduced revenues, reduced operating hours, employee layoffs/furloughs/pay cuts, etc. Home-based businesses are not eligible for the program.”

Officials said they need to meet with the county to go over details, but once approved they hope to offer it quickly. Full details on how to apply will be released as soon as it is finalized, but the draft with additional details is available as an attachment to the City Council agenda for May 27.

The city has numerous other resources and updates related to COVID-19 available at fountaincolorado.org.

In related business, the council announced it would hold a special session on Monday, June 1, to consider allowing the city clerk to approve certain temporary licenses, such as liquor licenses to restaurants attempting to reopen. The action would allow the clerk to expedite the process for these businesses that have been closed for many weeks. More details on the meeting will be announced once released.

Read more about Fountain’s plans for its share of CARES Act funds and other City Council business in next week’s Fountain Valley News.

 

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