PUEBLO – After briefing Pueblo City Council on Monday night, Mayor Gradisar released the following statement and information on how the City of Pueblo prioritized and used $6.5 million of CARES Act Relief money to serve the community during the pandemic.
The Mayor’s Office focused on 3 key areas that were of critical need: personal relief (hunger, housing and utilities), small businesses relief and safety measures to enable city government to function in a national crisis.
“Our goal from the beginning was to allocate and invest in areas of greatest need in Pueblo where the relief money would have the most impact. Few could have anticipated the level of need in our community during this crisis but I’m proud what my team has accomplished to provide aide and assistance this year,” said Mayor Gradisar. “We helped Puebloans pay for their housing, keep their lights on, fought hunger, invested in local businesses and – all wise and prudent uses of our COVID-19 relief funds.”
In Spring 2020, the City of Pueblo allocated $5 million from the Half-Cent Economic Development fund to go toward economic relief grants and loans for small businesses. The City has awarded $1.8 million in Small Business Relief and Recovery Grants. Additionally, the City has submitted $3.3 million in grants to be reimbursed by CARES Funding and anticipates submitting an estimated $1.5 million in additional grants for reimbursement in the coming weeks.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that investing half-cent funds assisted our small businesses get through the lockdown and the current peak of COVID-19, and stabilized the economy,” said Mayor Gradisar. “Obviously, more help is needed as we are months away from a vaccine being readily available and I hope we see more relief dollars make their way to Pueblo soon.”
$3.8 million went to Small Business Support. In two funding rounds the City of Pueblo provided direct financial assistance in the form of grants to local businesses.
$323,432.90 went to Pueblo’s Outdoor Patio Dining Program to provide temporary parklets, lighting, heating, tables and chairs.
$407,593.02 went to hunger relief led by the Pueblo Food Project. The Pueblo Food Project is a community coalition focused on local and regional food issues. The program distributed meals, meal kits, winter warming kits and other much needed food supplies from local producers to help fight hunger.
$469,203.34 was committed to rent, mortgage and utility relief. The City of Pueblo partnered with the United Way of Pueblo County, Neighborworks Southern Colorado, Catholic Charities, and Posada to administer the relief.
In total the City as used $6,575,945.00 for Coronavirus relief.
Additional CARES Act Funding:
$1.36m from HUD to the City’s Department of Housing & Citizen Services
$1.04m from FAA to the Pueblo Memorial Airport
$6.41m from Federal Transit Administration to Pueblo Transit
$319.2k from U.S. Dept. of Justice to Pueblo Police, IT and Parks and Recreation
City of Pueblo CVRF Expense
Estimates CARES Act Update to Council Dec 28