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Thousands of dollars offered in a new grant for small businesses

(Photo Credit: Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY— Up to $35,000, in fact.  “And you do not have to pay this back, absolutely not.” 

Regional Development Director for Salt Lake County, Dina Blaes says this is their chance to help small businesses that have shut down or partially closed from county health orders.  “SLCO Mayor [Jenny Wilson] has dedicated $40 million to the  Small Business Impact Grant program.  Particularly those who were left behind in the federal aid packages.” 

Blaes refers to the Paycheck Protection Program, and others.  She says one applied for these programs through their bank, and many store owners didn’t “have a long term working relationship with lines of credit, and small business loans.  And the quantities of inquiries banks received were overwhelming… I think it surprised everybody.” 

She emphasizes another factor.  “Language barriers were keeping a lot of [people] from applying.  Salt Lake County hopes to have solved those two problems:  the money is coming from directly from the County coffers (although by way of the Federal CARES Act) and you’ll only apply through them.”

Blaes says the program is designed for the types of small businesses that had no choice but to close when the health department levied their pandemic shut down orders. 

She cites “arts organizations, food, and lots of personal service [establishments.]”  Theaters, music venues, hair and nail salons, and restaurants, financially decimated by having to wait out the virus. 

You can apply for the no-pay-back grant at Salt Lake County’s website.  The grant goes live at 9 am, next Tuesday, June 16, but there are FAQs and lists of digital paperwork you’re going to need. 

Blaes hopes “small businesses will take some time over the weekend to gather what they need, get familiar with the requirements, and be ready to apply on Tuesday.”