Select businesses in Elbert County could qualify for grants to help offset the hardship of COVID-19 restrictions that forced them to either close their doors or greatly reduce the number of customers …
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Select businesses in Elbert County could qualify for grants to help offset the hardship of COVID-19 restrictions that forced them to either close their doors or greatly reduce the number of customers they could serve.
Colorado Senate Bill 20b-001, the COVID-19 Relief Small and Minority Businesses Arts Organizations, allotted $37 million to help restaurants, bars, movie theaters, caterers, and fitness and recreation sports centers. Elbert County has received $509,000 of those state funds, and will be distributing grants to local businesses that qualify within the next 30 days.
“We'll be contacting the businesses that qualify in the county this week,” County Manager Sam Albrecht said the week of Jan. 25. “We'll send emails, post on social media and deliver information in person.”
Qualifying businesses must be within the categories stated, and have earnings less than $2.5 million. Depending on the size of the business, grants will be awarded on three levels, with money being dispersed in grants of either $7,000, $5,000 or $3,500. Grants will also be available for businesses that were started between Jan. 1 and March. New businesses were not eligible for Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) funds because they were required to show receipts for 2019.
Albrecht said the state also approved an extension for the original CARES Act funds, which were originally mandated to be used by the end of 2020, or remitted back to the state. The county now has until the end of 2021 to distribute those funds.
“We still have some money to distribute under the CARES Act, and we'll be reaching out to businesses to let them know when we'll start another round of grants for that,” said Albrecht.
Under the CARES Act, Elbert County received $2,294,004, with $103,085 being distributed proportionately to the towns of Elizabeth, Kiowa and Simla. Elbert County gave out $266,000 of their portion to small businesses and nonprofit organizations within the county.
“We really want to help as many businesses in the county under these new guidelines,” said Albrecht. “Any funds we don't distribute go back to the state, so we'd rather help those in our county.”
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