Fountain Valley News - Your Hometown Community Newspaper

County opens new business relief grants

 

Last updated 7/6/2021 at 11:43am



El Paso County has announced a new round of grants to contribute to the long-term recovery of local small businesses and nonprofits with the allocation of American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act funds.

The second round of Regional Business Relief Fund grants will provide tangible assistance to local businesses and nonprofits as they transition from relief to recovery. The Fund will be facilitated by the county’s Department of Economic Development, in partnership with Colorado Enterprise (CEF), a certified CDFI and nationally recognized SBA non-profit lender.

“Small businesses across El Paso County, both for-profit and non-profit, experienced unprecedented challenges and disruptions from the pandemic," said Stan VanderWerf, El Paso County Board Chair.  “Our Regional Business Relief Fund grants will help these companies and our unemployment numbers return to their pre-COVID levels.  Thriving small businesses and job opportunities are crucial for full economic recovery in our region. Funding programs that achieve these goals are the right thing to do.”

The funds under the El Paso County Regional Business Relief Fund program will be administered through a competitive grant application process.  Recipients will be awarded a grant rather than a loan and will not have to pay the funds back.  El Paso County businesses and nonprofits with fewer than 500 employees can apply to receive a grant of up to $20,000, which can be used to pay for expenses and economic hardship due to COVID-19.  The funds can be used to cover costs such as rent and mortgage, utilities, employee payroll, accounts payable, other fixed debt, personal protection equipment and marketing costs associated with business recovery. Funds cannot be used for taxes or tax debt.

The application process is open now and will remain open through July 16 at 5 p.m. Applications can be submitted online via the CEF website https://coloradoenterprisefund.org/epcregionalbusinessrelieffund. Applicants can find information on eligibility requirements, as well as comprehensive list of FAQs and other information on the El Paso County Regional Business Relief Fund on the website link above.

Additionally, El Paso County Economic Development and CEF are partnering with the Pikes Peak Workforce Center and Pikes Peak Small Business Development Center to offer additional business support programming to the community. This includes an upcoming, free, in-person technical assistance opportunity with the SBDC on Thursday, July 8, from 9 a.m.–6 p.m. at Pikes Peak Community College - Rampart Campus.

More information on this in-person opportunity can be found at: https://bit.ly/RBRFRound2Workshop. Registration is encouraged for this event; however, walk-ins are welcome.

 

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