The Pueblo City Council will consider an emergency resolution during its Monday meeting that could bring financial relief to local small businesses.
The City of Pueblo has partnered with the Pueblo Economic Development Corp (PEDCO) Board of Directors to find ways to help businesses who have been affected by the COVID-19 Crisis. With Council’s approval, the City will be transferring $5 Million out of the half-cent sales tax fund, which is meant for job creation, to offer as loans or grants to struggling businesses. These funds are intended to help with capital needs that are not covered by other Federal or State Program established as a result of the COVID-19 Crisis.
"Pueblo, as well as the entire country, is facing a health and financial crisis, which require us to consider a one-time change in how we use a portion of the 1/2 sales tax fund,” says Jeff Shaw, President of the Pueblo Economic Development Corporation.
“The purpose of these dollars is not intended to be a replacement or substitute to money being made available by the Federal or State Governments. Rather, these dollars are designed to help Pueblo with capital needs in order for Pueblo businesses to recover as quickly as possible. PEDCO is grateful to the incredible businesses of Pueblo and are happy to help however we can.”
The grants or loans will require an application process and will be approved through the Office of the Mayor, provided the grant or loan is in the compliance with established requirements.
“While this program will not make all of our small businesses whole, we hope that this use of the economic development funds can help fill the gaps that may occur and allow these businesses to get up and running as soon as possible once restrictions are relaxed. We believe that this is a good use of these funds during this unprecedented economic crises,’’ says Mayor Nick Gradisar.
Additional details will become available as they are finalized.
The COVID-19 Emergency Fund would loan up to $100,000 and grant up to $20,000 to qualifying businesses ‘adversely affected’ by COVID-19 in furtherance of maintaining employment opportunities in the City of Pueblo.