COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- The Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments and The Colorado Enterprise Fund have again teamed up to provide small businesses in the Pikes Peak area with COVID-19 relief.
The organizations are in their second round of applications for the 2021 Pikes Peak Small Business Relief Program. The program aims to help small businesses that are struggling to sustain operations by providing the funding necessary to maintain their workforce and recover from the negative impact of COVID-19.
The deadline to apply for the second round of grant distributions is at 5 p.m. on March 5.
Lara Grosjean, co-founder of CityRock and Ute and Yeti, applied for a COVID-19 relief grant in the first round of applications. She says it gave her two businesses the boost they needed, still recovering from closing down the climbing gym and pub last year due to COVID.
"It was chaos, right? We had no idea what was happening," Lara says, explaining how she and her staff handled last year's shutdowns.
Unlike loans, small businesses awarded this grant won’t have to pay it back and there are no restrictions on how to use the money. Lara says CityRock used the grant to bring back programs at the climbing gym, specifically for children. CityRock has also been able to hire part-time workers.
Andrew Gunning of Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments says teaming up with the Colorado Enterprise Fund to help area businesses is one of the most important things they can do for the community.
"Small businesses are the fabric of our community," Gunning said.
"So it's really really important we get them through this pandemic."
Cory Arcarese, a lending officer with Colorado Enterprise Fund, says the biggest perk of applying for the COVID-19 relief grant through the Pikes Peak Small Business Relief Program is that you're working with local people. This is not a national program.
"Work with us and apply. There are people reviewing your application that really want to get this money out!" says Cory.
To apply for the 2021 Pikes Peak Small Business Relief Program, go to www.coloradoenterprisefund.org.