The latest round of Covid relief funding has been unveiled with all three programs rolled out by the Governor's Office of Economic Development (GOED) in the past two weeks. The three programs are considered first come first served and when the money goes it’s gone. Here is the skinny on all three and links to the state site where you can apply.
The three programs are Shop in Utah, Safe in Utah and the Commercial Rental Assistance Program. Each has its own nuances that will determine if the program may or may not be the right fit for your business.
Shop In Utah is a $25 million program created in a special session by the State Legislature as a response to the Covid-19 pandemic interruption to businesses. The Legislature stipulated that 75% of that money must go to small businesses. Businesses with less than 250 employees.
You provide a profit and loss statement showing 2019’s numbers for March to June and a similar statement for March to June 2020. You are eligible for a grant in the amount of the decline. Half of which remains in your pocket the other half needs to reflect discounts in your price to entice the consumer to Shop in Utah.
Guides, outfitters and businesses who have a list they may be able to push out offers to could really benefit from this. Some trip of a lifetime dreams might be realized thanks to our businesses being able to make a trip to Utah’s Canyon Country very affordable.
Luxury accommodations with a raft trip is what you’re offering? Sales a little off? How about an email campaign offering 2 for one at your lodging and for services all the way down the line? You can give $25,000 worth of discounts and not lose a cent.
One suggestion the state made was aimed at dentists and other health professionals. They too are eligible to discount their services. Details and the application can be reached here Shop In Utah.
The next program on the table actually is for prevention of COVID-19 by making safe practices compliance affordable to participants. This is the Safe In Utah grant program.
$5 million in federal CARES Act funds are being granted to businesses for items such as PPE (face masks etc.) and upgrades to allow for social distancing and other compliance measures in reaction to COVID-19 public health guidelines for safely returning employees to work.
This one is worth studying a little closer. Safe in Utah might repay money you’ve already spent.
It opened for applications on the 20th of July and the qualifications are pretty simple.
Your business must have been in operation on March 1, 2020, have employees physically located in Utah, must have experienced a revenue decline related to the pandemic and show that you have either already spent funds to make the changes necessary or plan to do so. This one can be retroactive so if you put up any plexiglass or made any other physical changes to keep things square with the health mandates you can be reimbursed provided those things were done after March 1, 2020. .
And what an opportunity to make upgrades you were putting off. Maybe some no touch faucets or lavatory fixtures. You come out ahead. Required documentation on the state website for this one is just two lines. They ask for a W-9 tax form and that you provide evidence of COVID-19 related expenses incurred, or an estimate of costs that will be incurred before December 31,2020. Once again that is the Safe In Utah grant funding.
Lastly we have a $40 million sack of cash called Commercial Rental Assistance Program or ComRent for short. This one has been out for a while but there is still nearly $30 million in funding left in the kitty.
The program was created as part of a bill signed by Governor Herbert in April. The program grants rental relief to Utah small businesses that have lost revenue as a result of measures taken during the pandemic to minimize the public’s exposure to COVID-19.
If you are paying rent when you aren’t ringing the register Governor Herbert feels your pain and he has some financial novocaine for you. This is another first come first serve program but not many people have taken the time to go after this. GOED has stressed in two separate areas outlining the funding, that there is still around $30 million remaining in the pot. These guys are serious.
Eligible recipients must qualify through this criteria:
Have a current lease on commercial property in the state of Utah
Claim Utah as their principal place of business
Be in operation with fewer than 100 full time employees
Document 30% or more loss of gross monthly revenue after March 1, 2020 directly as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic
Not received funds from the COVID-19 Agricultural Operations Grant Program
Documentation is a little more involved with the Commercial Rental Assistance Program. The state will want to see the following to disburse funds:
Profit & Loss statement for 4 weeks within 12 months of application.(Period will determine baseline for revenue loss calculation).
Profit & Loss statement for the 4 233k period of revenue loss (has to be after March 1 2020)
Current lease/rental agreement
Documentation of most recent lease/rental payment
Once again the state has made a point of the fact that a good percentage of the funding for the Commercial Rental Assistance Program remains on the table. It is definitely not too late to qualify for this grant if you have all the parts to the puzzle.
To listen to the podcast on these programs click here.