Bayfield businesses have two weeks to apply for COVID-19 relief money offered through a town grant.
The town of Bayfield received $103,000 from the federal coronavirus relief bill, the $2.2 trillion CARES Act. About $60,000 of that will provide much-needed relief for small business owners, many of whom took financial hits because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Businesses within town limits have until Oct. 26 to apply for up to $3,000 each to cover specific pandemic-related expenses.
“I already have received a completed grant application in the first hour of sending it out, and (Tuesday) I’m meeting with two businesses to help them apply,” said Beth Lamberson, Bayfield economic recovery coordinator, in an email to The Durango Herald.
Bayfield surveyed local businesses to get a sense of the pandemic’s impacts and business owners’ needs. About 40% of businesses responded. Of those, 70% said they had experienced income losses since March, when Colorado recorded its first COVID-19 cases.
Many business owners said they needed personal protective equipment, assistance with marketing and e-commerce, and money for outdoor structures and propane heaters, Lamberson said.
With the help of the Bayfield CARES grants, business owners can get support for those expenses. The money must be used to reimburse businesses for necessary expenditures incurred between March 1 and Dec. 30.
The grants come with some restrictions and required documents, like receipts and a certificate of good standing from the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office.
Only businesses located within town limits with 50 full-time employees or fewer can apply. They must have in-person interactions with customers and a completed San Juan Basin Public Health self-certification form.
Nonprofits can apply for support from the town through its annual nonprofit grant program.
Franchise businesses and subsidiaries of national corporations are eligible for Bayfield CARES grants only if they can meet certain criteria, like a local ownership control model.
Businesses outside town limits can apply for the La Plata Cares and Energize Colorado grants. Lamberson is available to help people apply for the relief grants, she said.
“My job is to set as many people up for success as possible,” Lamberson said.
The grant is mandated to cover:
Personal protective equipment, including counter shields.Building safety upgrades to protect customers and employees and/or encourage social distancing.Tents or other structures to expand outside service.Remodeling of and/or additions to existing space.Propane or electric heaters.Office equipment for remote work.Establish or restructure a business website to create additional e-commerce.Marketing materials, like print, online, radio and brochures.Employee training.Technology upgrades, such as contactless payment systems and touchless entrances.Possible other expenses that can be considered.[email protected]