A second round of funding associated with the CoronaVirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act made its way to San Juan County. The funding will result in two grants. The first grant is built on the foundation of an earlier CARES grant program. The second is an Artisan’s grant. It was designed to support local artists through funding to businesses expressly for the purchase of artwork and crafted items from local producers.
San Juan County EDVS in partnership with the San Juan County Commission and the County Economic Development board added to one grant and created another in this latest distribution of relief funding. The Artisans grant is a brand new arrow in San Juan county’s quiver of economic development tools.
The previous relief effort administered by the county pushed out grants to many of the area hotels and businesses that had taken a wallop from the shutdown.
The first of these two grants will run much in the same way the previous grant did. In that first round, businesses needed to present a business license for either San Juan County or one of the municipalities issuing licenses in the area, provide a W9 and a statement of hardship outlining the effect the shutdown has had on the business.
60 grants were issued before the funds from the first CARES act ran out in San Juan County. Those funds were distributed to a wide array of county businesses. Among those were employers in leisure & hospitality, restaurant, landscaping, transportation, manufacturing, gyms, and daycares. Recipients ranged the entire county geographically. Funding went out to businesses in Spanish Valley, Monticello, Blanding, Bluff, Montezuma Creek, Mexican Hat, and Monument Valley.
Businesses who applied in Round 1 and who were not awarded do not need to re-apply. Their application will automatically be processed in Round 2.
Businesses who applied and were funded in Round 1 are invited to apply in Round 2 if they can showcase a new need for the use of funding. Priority will be given to businesses who have not received any SJC CARES funding.
Business will be kept updated on their grant application status following a similar timeline. No applicants will be accepted when the grant fund is exhausted or after the deadline of Nov 30 - whichever comes first.
The second grant is the San Juan County CARES Artisan Grant. This post performance grant will reward businesses who purchase from those creating the fine arts and crafts pieces San Juan County is famous for. This funding is not just to support those selling the artisans’ work but could go to local businesses wishing to purchase local art for display in their place of business.
$110,000 has been allocated to this program with $5,000 set aside to support the Bluff Art Festival to support their virtual festival with artist promotions and artist honorariums.
The remainder of this grant will use local businesses to support local artisans and reimburse them for their expenditures. For every purchase a local business makes towards purchasing art from a local San Juan County artisan, the Artisan Grant will reimburse 50% of the purchase up to $7,000 per business.
However, on November 16th the $7,000 match cap will be lifted (pending availability of funds) and businesses will be able to submit for additional reimbursement.
Commissioner Willie Greyeyes responded when asked about the grants that the Artisans’ grant in particular was “A great benefit to the artists in our county. It is important that they are able to benefit from some of this funding as well.”
A pre-application is required to participate in the program. Businesses will submit a pre-application requesting the total amount that they would like awarded. The match request can exceed the $7,000 match cap and if there are funds remaining they will be made available after November 16th. Pre-applications will be accepted first come first served, on a rolling basis until funds are exhausted.
As pre-applications are received they will be reviewed and approved for a match amount. Approved businesses will have until November 16th to submit their reimbursement requests for guaranteed reimbursement.
No applications or disbursements will be accepted when the grant fund is exhausted or the deadline of November 30th 2020, whichever comes first.
A business interested in the funding can start the application process on the website www.utahscanyoncountry.com/covid-grant and click on the tab for the grant that interests you. Both grants open October 19th at 9AM.