October 7, 2020 – El Paso County’s Economic Development Department awarded $13,858,527 in grants to 864 local small businesses and nonprofits as part of the El Paso County Regional Business Relief Fund program, making it one of the largest COVID-19 relief programs in the nation led by a local County government. The program was initiated to provide tangible assistance to local businesses and nonprofits adversely affected by the pandemic, as El Paso County continues to focus on its COVID-19 response, recovery, and resiliency efforts.
El Paso County Board of County Commissioners allocated $13,858,527 in CARES Act funds to the Regional Business Relief Fund program, facilitated by the county’s Economic Development Department, in partnership with Colorado Enterprise Fund, a nonprofit lender certified by the SBA. Applications for this 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.
Local small businesses and nonprofits awarded grants experienced a disruption and decrease in business operation and workforce due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Of the 864 businesses receiving grants, 734 are small businesses, and 130 are nonprofits. 484 (56%) recipients self-identified as veteran, women or minority-owned businesses and nonprofits. The average amount awarded is $16,039.
Funds can be used to cover costs such as rent and mortgage assistance, utility payments, employee payroll, accounts payable, and other fixed debt costs, as well as personal protection equipment. Funds cannot be used for taxes or tax debt. Unlike loans, recipients awarded this grant will not have to pay it back.
El Paso County’s Economic Development Department will begin announcing awards to the applicants of the Regional Business Relief Fund on Wednesday, October 7, 2020. Additionally, in collaboration with the Pikes Peak Small Business Development Center and Pikes Peak Workforce Center, all applicants will have access to free business support resources.
“Small businesses and nonprofits are critical to El Paso County’s economic development ecosystem. They not only bring character and vitality to our community, but they also financially support the great residents of our region. The El Paso County Economic Development Department is proud to announce that the implementation and administration of the Regional Business Relief Fund will provide grant capital to over 800 businesses and nonprofits in our region making it one of the most robust local relief programs nationwide committed to supporting the local business and nonprofit community with economic recovery,” said Crystal LaTier, Executive Director of El Paso County’s Economic Development Department.
El Paso County’s Economic Development Department would like to thank the Board of County Commissioners and Colorado Enterprise Fund for their support of the El Paso County Regional Business Relief Fund program.
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 respond to COVID-19 please visit https://admin.elpasoco.com/economic-development/.