El Paso County awards over $10 million to small businesses, nonprofits

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EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. — El Paso County’s Economic Development Department awarded $10,381,441 in grants to 627 local small businesses and nonprofits as part of El Paso County Regional Business Relief Fund grants’ second round. The program has provided assistance to these local groups as they attempt to bounce back economically from the COVID-19 pandemic.

El Paso County Board of County Commissioners allocated $10,381,441 in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to the Regional Business Relief Fund program. Among the 627 businesses that received grants, 525 were small businesses, and 102 were nonprofits.  65% of recipients self-identified as women, minority or veteran-owned businesses and nonprofits. The average amount awarded is $16,557.

The funds cannot be used for taxes or tax debt nor will the businesses have to pay it back like a loan. In addition to the funding, recipients will also have access to free business support resources through the Pikes Peak Small Business Development Center and Pikes Peak Workforce Center.

“The pandemic created unprecedented challenges and disruptions for small businesses in El Paso County, both for-profit and nonprofit,” said Stan VanderWerf, El Paso County Board Chair.  “The success of small businesses and the creation of new jobs in our region are unquestionably crucial to our economic recovery.  The grant provided a gateway for small businesses and nonprofits to maintain their workforces and carry on their important work.”

At this time, no new applications for the El Paso County Regional Business Relief Fund are being accepted. For more information on resources to help businesses recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit https://admin.elpasoco.com/economic-development/.

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