COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- El Paso County is launching a new multi-million-dollar Regional Business Relief Fund program for local businesses and nonprofits.
The aim of the $7.6 million fund is to help businesses recover from the COVID-19 economic disruption.
The money for the program is coming from CARES Act funds. It will be distributed by the county’s Department of Economic Development, in partnership with Colorado Enterprise Fund, a nonprofit lender certified by the SBA.
The funds under the El Paso County Regional Business Relief Fund program will be awarded as a grant rather than a loan, so recipients will not have to pay the money back.
El Paso County businesses and nonprofits with fewer than 500 employees can apply to receive a grant of up to $20,000.
Chris Wright is the founder and head brewer at Pikes Peak Brewing Company in Colorado Springs, which opened just five days ago. He plans to apply for a grant.
"If it’s 10 dollars or 20 thousand dollars, any little bit helps," Wright said.
The money can be used to cover costs such as rent and mortgage, utilities, employee payroll, accounts payable, and other fixed debt costs, as well as personal protection equipment. The county said funds cannot be used for taxes or tax debt.
“The county knows how much our local businesses and nonprofits are struggling financially, and we wanted to provide a debt-free solution,” Economic Development Executive Director Crystal LaTier said.
“We hope that applicants find comfort knowing they can take advantage of these grants without adding to their stress and debt in the process.”
The county hopes to help hundreds of businesses with the $7.6 million. The application process opened Wednesday and will stay open through September 7, at 5:00 PM. Applications can be submitted online via the CEF website.
El Paso County Economic Development and Colorado Enterprise Fund staff will be hosting a free webinar in partnership with the Pikes Peak Small Business Development Center on Friday, August 14th. The webinar will have both an English and a Spanish session.
Webinar Registration Links:
English webinar: https://clients.coloradosbdc.org/workshop.aspx?ekey=70400166
Spanish webinar: https://clients.coloradosbdc.org/workshop.aspx?ekey=70400167