The Town of Monument has created a Business Relief Fund using $300,000 of the CARES Act funds received from El Paso County.

The fund will provide financial assistance to qualifying small businesses and nonprofit organizations located within Monument that have been directly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Relief funds are intended to assist businesses with rent or mortgage, utility payments, employee payroll, accounts payable, other bills and payment of fixed debts.

The fund could also provide assistance for businesses looking to adapt and or repurpose its enterprise to serve the community.

The $300,000 funneled into the relief fund was part of a total of $554,000 the town received from El Paso County’s $126 billion portion of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, of which the county shared portions with its qualifying municipalities.

The town is now accepting, and has already received, applications for the fund. Business and nonprofits may receive up to $10,000 in grant funds.

As the Business Relief Fund was being created, the initial grant limit was suggested to be $5,000. Mayor Don Wilson said during the June 15 meeting of the town Board of Trustees where the board discussed qualifications and application logistics for the fund, the idea behind the $5,000 suggested amount was to get money to more businesses that would then have an option to apply for additional funds.

After further discussion between the trustees, it was decided the initial application for grant funds could be up to $10,000.

“As a small business owner myself, $5,000 wouldn’t be much help,” Trustee Laurie Clark said.

Town Manager Mike Foreman took instruction from the board and said there would be an initial round of grant funding after which the town could see how much of the $300,000 had been depleted and which business would require additional funds.

Applications for the fund are being accepted until Aug. 1, or until the funds have been exhausted.

Qualifying applicants include small businesses, restaurants and nonprofits with a “brick-and-mortar” presence within the town limits that possess a Town of Monument business license. This includes locally owned franchises.

The town is defining small businesses per the Small Business Administration guidelines.

For more information and to apply, visit TownofMonument.org/371/Business-Grants.

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