PUEBLO – Today, Mayor Gradisar announced the initial round of the COVID-19 Small Business Relief and Recovery Grants were sent to 32 Pueblo businesses with more relief on the way.
“With the finish line in sight, hope and help are coming to Pueblo’s small businesses through our Relief and Recovery Grants. Eligible businesses will be able to make rent, buy supplies, and get the money to help with business operations this month,” said Mayor Nick Gradisar. “From the start of this pandemic, the City of Pueblo has been proactive, making available $5 million in economic aid from our Half-Cent Economic Fund. Our loan and grant program injected over $3 million of financial aid into small businesses in the Spring. Today, we are releasing the first of $1 million to help small businesses get over the finish line.”
The COVID-19 Economic Recovery Fund was authorized in April to use $5 million of Pueblo’s half-cent fund towards small business assistance. In the Spring and Summer, the City of Pueblo provided around $3.6m in economic relief through grants and loans to those businesses experiencing COVID-19 related financial hardships.
Mayor Gradisar said the first round of businesses helped triage Pueblo’s economy after the initial shock of shutdowns earlier in the year.
“I believe our injection of financial aid at the start of the pandemic and lower COVID-19 summer case counts put Pueblo back on its feet faster than other communities after the shutdowns. With the rising number of cases and the Centers for Disease Control predicting the worst is yet to come, Pueblo must continue to do its part to support of local economy by adhering to COVID-19 safety warnings and by shopping local,” said Mayor Gradisar.
For September and October, sales tax receipts were respectively 7.5% higher than in 2019. For the year-to-date through October, the City of Pueblo sales tax is 2.4% over 2019’s sales tax receipts. This does not include November and December sales tax receipts.
The 32 grants total $157,261.00 in relief aid. The fund still has over $840,000 in grant assistance left to disburse.
The City received $2.1 million in aid requests.