By Mary Jo Coulehan
Pagosa Springs Area
Chamber of Commerce
The Town of Pagosa Springs is taking “last call” for its COVID Relief Fund Program. Local businesses may apply to the Town of Pagosa Springs for reimbursements up to $7,500.
The reimbursements include tents, heaters, building adjustments, awnings and other COVID-related needs such as hand sanitizer, disposable menus, phone apps for menus or online shopping, etc.
This is also a reimbursable program, not an advancement program. The deadline for this program is Nov. 30, so time is running short for businesses to file their applications. Go to https://www.pagosasprings.co.gov/ and then click on the Pagosa Springs Coronavirus Relief Fund Program link. You must have receipts to back up your application.
The state will also open the second round of grants for the Outdoor Winter Seating Grant Program on Nov. 30. The deadline for the grant is Dec. 11. Recipients must use the grant funds to purchase items needed to maintain outdoor dining spaces for patrons during colder weather. The maximum amount awarded will be $10,000. In all circumstances, grants from the program will be made only to help pay for limited types of eligible expenses, which include but are not limited to: architectural or design fees, construction materials and contractor fees, tents, heaters and/or heating equipment or expenses related to heating, furniture, lighting, snow removal, safety measures/equipment, cold-weather gear for staff or patrons, other expenses directly related to your outdoor dining program. Projects completed after Aug. 1, projects in process or planned projects that will be completed by Jan. 15 are eligible to apply. Proof of hardship — special priority will be given to businesses that can show a year-over-year revenue loss of more than 40 percent. Any restaurant that can show a loss of 20 percent or more will be considered. Corporate-owned chain locations are not eligible. Franchisees are welcome to apply. For grant awardees, half of the funding will be distributed upon notification of the award. Final funding (second half) depends on submission of a photo of the completed space plus receipts for all eligible expenses.
These are very important financial programs for our businesses. Don’t leave money on the table. These programs are here to help our business community offset some of the economic hardships that are being incurred in order for your business to stay afloat. Don’t miss these deadlines and make an effort to garner some of these grant funds.
Shop Small Shop Local
Along with national Black Friday shopping specials, the small business community comes together the Saturday after Thanksgiving for Small Business Saturday.
Extended through the holiday shopping season, the Shop Small Shop Local theme is very prevalent this year. It is easy for many to just go to their Amazon Prime account and order. But how is this shopping format helping your community? Remember that 70 percent of your shopping dollars stay in your community when you shop local. Think of all the times that a nonprofit agency has asked for a donation for its fundraiser and the amount of merchandise and services this community has garnered through our business community. It is now time to give back to these businesses and support them during this holiday season. These businesses are owned by your neighbors and friends and maybe even family. Support them, their business and our economy.
With increased COVID numbers, a reduction in outdoor engagement may occur. Shop online locally, call the business directly, work with the business owner and get your goods this holiday season locally. And businesses, if you aren’t online and offering services, you are missing out on sales.