Last Friday, September 11, Las Animas County Administrator Phil Dorenkamp announced that the County would now begin accepting applications for their COVID Small Business Emergency Grant program. Businesses within Las Animas County will have access to up to $5,000 to pay for rent, utilities, insurance, and other costs associated with COVID-19 strains.
“As our community continues to confront the still-emerging health and economic implications of the COVID-19 crisis, small businesses throughout Las Animas County have sought to meet the sudden and emergency challenges of our community,” said the informational release from the county on Friday.
Dorenkamp said the funds used by the county for the grants would be reimbursable by the state because it was being used for COVID-19 relief efforts.
“As long as the guidelines are adhered to, then we can be reimbursed for expending these grant funds,” said Dorenkamp. “We’ve got $320,000 budgeted for this program.”
Funding for applicants is determined by how many apply, the availability of funds, and the need demonstrated by each business.
“As our community deals with the health and economic implications of the COVID-19 crisis, small businesses have been especially hard hit,” the informational states. “Supporting our small business community is integral to creating jobs for our residents and bringing back the goods and services that provide us with the quality of life we value in Las Animas County.”
Coming up on November’s ballot is whether or not to allow the county to use some of the 1A excess funds, audited at approximately $2.9 million Dorenkamp said.
“In 2017, the voters approved a County Sales and Use tax of one percent,” said Dorenkamp. “The estimated sales tax to be collected on the ballot question was underestimated thereby generating excesses. On the November 3, 2020, ballot, Referred Ballot Measure 1A is asking for voter approval to keep and spend these excesses and revenues collected and to be collected without raising taxes.”
If the issue passes, the County would share that excess through grant applications and other means of fairly and properly dispersing the funds. Dorenkamp explained that commissioners and staff have discussed using at least $500,000 of those funds, should it pass, for additional COVID-19 relief.
“This would not increase taxes at all [related to 1A],” said Dorenkamp. “If that passes, we would be able to assist businesses in Las Animas County with those funds.”
Applications must be received by Las Animas County no later than 3 p.m. on Thursday, October 22, 2020 and only complete applications will be accepted. Applications may be personally delivered or mailed to:
Las Animas County Courthouse
200 East 1st Street, Room 110,
Trinidad CO. 81082
emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, call 719-845-2562.