State offering another round of relief money to small businesses as pandemic lingers – Standard-Examiner

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State offering another round of relief money to small businesses as pandemic lingers – Standard-Examiner

OGDEN — Despit

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OGDEN — Despite some renewed public optimism driven by an urgent nationwide vaccination effort, the COVID-19 pandemic is not yet over.

And while some businesses have weathered the storm of the pandemic relatively well, others — most notably in industries like food service, hospitality and travel — have not. So the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development is offering small business across the state more relief money in 2021.

Tony Young, media relations manager for GOED, said the agency has $15 million to dole out as part of its “2021 Impacted Small Business Catalyst Grant.” Young said the purpose of the program is to assist small businesses, nonprofits and other organizations that “experienced a high level of revenue decline” in a consecutive four-month period in 2020, compared to the same period in 2019.

Young said the first portion of funds will be awarded to applicants that demonstrate a revenue loss of 90% or greater, and if funds are still available after that, the application process will open to businesses that demonstrate an 80% or greater loss. To be eligible for the program, businesses or nonprofits must be registered with the state, have fewer than 250 employees, claim Utah as its principal place of business, and have not stopped operations or initiated bankruptcy proceedings.

The state distributed some $1.25 billion in 2020 as part of the federal government’s Coronavirus Relief Fund, which was established with the CARES Act. GOED offered several assistance programs for businesses and nonprofits during the initial year of the pandemic, and money was also given out to counties and municipalities using a population-based formula. Those entities then distributed the money to businesses and nonprofits operating in their respective areas. 

“We’re excited to help once again businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Dan Hemmert, GOED’s executive director, said in a statement. “We hope this will help make an impact on small businesses, nonprofits, and organizations who are in need during this time.”

The application process for the new program opened Tuesday and is scheduled to close at 5 p.m. April 27. Young said the program is “not a first-come, first-serve grant” and noted that all eligible applications will be reviewed. Awarded grant recipients will be notified between May 24-28, and will begin receiving checks within a few days of the notification.

To learn more about eligibility, required documentation and additional program details, and to submit applications, go to coronavirus.utah.gov/business. Any questions or inquiries about the Small Business Catalyst Grant may be emailed to goedsupport@utah.gov.

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