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The COVID-19 pandemic is causing unprecedented small business impacts. Accordingly, Town Council is offering never-before-seen local business support programs, to help the many outlets that contribute to our community’s economy and character continue to succeed.
Council approved the latest of these initiatives Tuesday – a program offering one-time grants of up to $5,000 per business, and another offering firms no-interest, no-fee loans of up to $25,000.
Together, these new programs represent $600,000 in Town investment in local businesses. This is on top of $200,000 already invested in a separate crowdsourced loan program and up to $500,000 being offered in water bill assistance, for a total of up to $1.3 million in Town resources being dedicated to help small businesses at this time.
“Castle Rock is in this together, and that includes the Town,” said Mayor Jason Gray. “I’m proud that the Town Council has been able to act quickly to ensure we’re giving local businesses all support we can.”
The application for the COVID-19 Small Business Support Grant Program opens tomorrow, April 9, and will be available through 5 p.m. Thursday, April 16. Non-home-based businesses that have been operating in Castle Rock for at least a year and that have applied for a federal SBA loan are eligible to apply at CRgov.com/BusinessGrants. All applications submitted by the deadline will be considered.
Priority will be given to firms most impacted by the pandemic, including storefront retail, restaurants and personal care businesses. Preference will be given to businesses that collected and remitted Town sales tax during 2019. Additional criteria are available online. A committee will recommend up to $200,000 in total grants for Town Council’s consideration at its April 21 meeting, with assistance checks going out to recipients soon after.
The new loan program, meanwhile, is anticipated to be available in the coming months. $400,000 in Town funds will be leveraged to offer up to $2 million in first-come, first-served loans through the Castle Rock Economic Development Council in partnership with Colorado Lending Source. Criteria and other detailed information will be shared at CastleRockEDC.com once details are finalized.
The EDC is also the Town’s partner in the COVID-19 Kiva Community Loan Program, which Town Council approved March 30 and voted to amend Tuesday. Now, local businesses pursuing crowdfunded loans through that platform can receive up to $4,000 – or 50% of the loan total, whichever is less – in Town support. Visit the EDC website for details on this option and on other business support programs presently available.
Another way the Town is helping businesses is with water bill assistance of $1,500 – a $750 credit and a $750 loan. Residential water bill payment aid is available, too, at $300 per customer. Information is online at CRgov.com/CRWaterCares.
The Town’s business support programs are structured so that up to $850,000 of the $1.3 million being invested would ultimately come directly back to Town coffers. Other indirect benefits would be realized, too, as supported businesses fully reopen to provide the community services and contribute to the local sales tax base.
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