EL PASO COUNTY, Colo.– The El Paso County Economic Development Department is the 2021 recipient of the Southern Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce Community Champion Award.

The department designed and implemented four different relief fund programs to assist the community’s businesses and nonprofits in their economic recovery by utilizing funds through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, the American Rescue Plan Act, and contributions to the Pikes Peak Enterprise Zone Business Relief Fund to provide tangible assistance to local businesses and nonprofits throughout the pandemic and towards economic recovery. 

El Paso County’s Regional Business Relief Fund gave support to 864 different small businesses and nonprofits with grants up to $20,000 to assist with business operational costs incurred due to the COVID-19 economic disruption. El Paso County distributed $13,858,528 in grant funding with an average grant amount of $16,040 per organization assisted. Fifty-six percent of these organizations self-identified as women, minority, or veteran-owned small businesses and nonprofits. In 2021, El Paso County’s Economic Development Department awarded $10,381,441 in grants to 627 local small businesses and nonprofits as part of the second round of El Paso County Regional Business Relief Fund grants.

Applications for the Regional Business Relief Fund were collected, analyzed, and scored by Colorado Enterprise Fund, with final evaluation and grant award decisions made by El Paso County’s Economic Development Oversight Committee. Among the 627 businesses that received grants, 525 were small businesses, and 102 were nonprofits. 65% of recipients self-identified as women or minority or veteran owned businesses and nonprofits. The average amount awarded is $16,557. 

Courtesy of SCWCC.

Crystal LaTier, Executive Director of Economic Development, was presented with the award on December 14, 2021 at the SCWCC Holiday Luncheon Gala.

El Paso County Staff RT

“What a tremendous honor we received from the Southern Colorado Women’s Chamber (SCWCC),” said LaTier. “SCWCC continues to be an invaluable partner and advocate for the business community throughout our region. Throughout the pandemic they have stepped up to assist businesses by promoting access to government relief funding programs—like the Regional Business Relief Fund administered by El Paso County. El Paso County Economic Development looks forward to our continued partnership with SCWCC- and applauds them for their continued service, innovation, and efforts ensuring economic vitality in our great community.”