PUEBLO, Colo. — Small businesses who are forced to shut their doors due to tightening COVID-19 restrictions are now able to apply for the third and final round of CARES money from the county government.
This money is designed to help alleviate financial hardships the pandemic is putting on the economy, Pueblo County Commissioners approved a third round of emergency economic recovery grants.
Another $500,000 will be issued in this round of grants. Local businesses or nonprofits who would like to apply may do so by clicking on the link on the County’s homepage.
The application will be available starting on Nov. 23 and the deadline is Friday, December 11 at 5 p.m. Businesses can apply for a grant worth up to $5,000 to help pay for rent, payroll, and other critical needs. The funds are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Corporate businesses are not eligible to apply.
“Our small businesses have gone through a difficult year, and we need to make sure our local economy can get through these new health orders by the state. That is why the City has made available $1 million from our COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund to help Pueblo businesses right now,” said Mayor Nick Gradisar. “I call on every Puebloan to do their part to support local businesses this holiday season. Buy local, shop local, have a carry-out night, or buy that gift card – do what you can to support our local businesses.”
Pueblo County Commissioner Garrison Ortiz said, Round one checks are being cut now, round 2 just closed and those applications are being looked at, and round three opened Monday.
All the money will be distributed by the end of December. Businesses may be awarded up to 50,000. There are two tracks: business or non-profit.
With the additional round of economic recovery grants, this brings the total to $1.5-million given to local businesses and nonprofits from Pueblo County. Economic recovery grants are funded through CARES money.
“This is so important because I can’t tell you how many businesses, unfortunately, have to shut their doors,” said Commissioner Garrison Ortiz.
He added the economy does not work like a light switch. If you turn it off it all might not come back on 100%. Commissioner Ortiz understands $1.5 million is not enough for everyone. The applications are based on merit and the greatest need. Both city and county businesses are eligible.
Already $3.6 million was awarded in grants and loans to local companies from the relief program.