COVID-19 Business Relief Program application period open

RIO GRANDE COUNTY - Funds for the grant are being provided by the Coronavirus Relief Fund as part of the CARES Act by the State of Colorado through the Department of Local Government Affairs (DOLA). The Rio Grande County Business Relief Program is being supported by Rio Grande County, Upper Rio Grande Economic Development, First Southwest Community Fund and Kay’s Bookkeeping Services.

Rio Grande County is launching a business relief grant program to assist our local business community as they continue to keep their doors open under the Governor’s Executive Orders and the Public Health Orders that have been issued. The grant program is intended to assist businesses in the County that have experienced business interruption costs, unbudgeted expenses and other COVID-19 pandemic related expenses as allowed under the funding eligibility criteria. Funds for the grant are being provided by the Coronavirus Relief Fund as part of the CARES Act by the State of Colorado through the Department of Local Government Affairs (DOLA). Eligible expenses are those that have been incurred beginning March 1, 2020, for necessary expenditure due to the public health emergency with respect to COVID-19.
All expenses must have been incurred between March 1, 2020, and Dec. 15, 2020, and have sufficient documentation to substantiate the expense. Funds are available to reimburse actual expenses, not to fund future anticipated expenses.

The maximum funding for any application is $15,000. Applications will continue to be accepted until the maximum funds available has been allocated. The initial program total is allocated at $300,000. If this funding level is reached, and additional funds are available to the program, a second round of applications may be considered.

Businesses who have over 100 employees may be considered on a case by case basis outside the structure of this program.

Business Interruption

Businesses that experienced a loss of revenue as a direct result of the pandemic may receive funding to assist in recovering lost revenue. Qualifying businesses will be required to provide:

A narrative of the reason for the financial impact as it relates to that specific business.

Profit and Loss statements from 2019 and 2020 covering the time period beginning March 1 through Sept. 30 of each year, or from the business start date if started after March 1, 2019.

Documentation that the business has been in good standing with the State of Colorado as appropriate for the entity structure.

Demonstration that the business has conducted operations on a regular basis since at least April 1, 2020.

Loan Pay Off - Businesses who took out a loan in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic to meet operational expenses can use funds to have pay off their loan in full or in part, subject to the total allotted grant amount. Loans must have been underwritten between March 1, 2020- Sept. 30, 2020.

Direct COVID-related Expenses
Direct costs incurred as a result of complying with health orders may be reimbursed. Examples of these expenses include:
Personal protective equipment (PPE) for employees and patrons, such as face masks, gloves and shields.

Sanitizing supplies and services, such as disinfectant, hand sanitizer, wipes, and services to provide sanitizing services.

Modifications to customer service or workplace areas required in order to comply with public health orders. Examples include equipment needed to allow expansion of outdoor seating area, Plexiglas shields and physical separation items.

Other types of expenses unique to that business that can be justified as directly related.
Invoices for each item must be provided.

Eligible businesses must meet ALL requirements below:

Must be located within Rio Grande County

May be for-profit or not-for-profit.

Employ 100 or less. Larger businesses may be considered for assistance separately from this program.
Business has been in operation prior to April 1, 2020.

Business has been forced to temporarily close or modify/limit operations due to the Public Health Orders related to COVID-19.

Must hold valid sales tax license(s) and be current on remittances.

Ineligible Businesses Include:
Corporately owned national chains, unless an individually owned franchise operator residing in Colorado and can demonstrate lack of franchisor support.

Businesses employing more than 100 employees prior to COVID-19.

Prohibited Use of Funds:
Sales tax to any jurisdiction.

Wages to any member of the owner’s family who is not a bona fide employee

Salary to the owner that exceeds the average amount paid on a weekly or monthly basis in a similar period.

Any expense covered by insurance.

Any expense covered under any other government grant or loan program.

Any expense not considered an eligible business expense by IRS rules.

Applications may be made through:
1. Online Form:

2.  Email – please email application form and attachments to [email protected]  OR

3.  Hard copies can be dropped off or mailed to Rio Grande County Office (925 6th Street Room 200, Del Norte, CO 81132)

If you have questions please reach out to one of the partner organizations:
1.  Judy Egbert, Interim Rio Grande County Administrator, Rio Grande County Board of County Commissioners, 925 6th Street Room 207, Del Norte, CO 81132, [email protected]
(719) 657-2744 Administration Main Line
(719) 657-4216 Direct

2.  Marty & Bonnie Asplin, Co-directors, URGED, P.O. Box 6 Del Norte, CO 81132,
[email protected], 719-657-2827 Office, 719-850-0909 Cell

3.  Cass Walker, Executive Director, First Southwest Community Fund [email protected],org ; 970-749-1600

4.  Kay Harmon, Kay’s Bookkeeping Services, Inc.
[email protected] , 719-852-5638

Applications are currently being accepted. The deadline for the first funding round must be received no later than Nov. 23, 2020. Funding for those approved will be available by Dec. 1, 2020.

If funds are available, a second round of applications will be received with a deadline of Dec. 15, 2020, with funding available by Dec. 31, 2020.

The application process is designed to be quick and simple in order to facilitate a quick turn-around in reviewing, notifying and disbursing grant funds. Contact any of the partners listed above for instruction on starting the application process.


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