OGDEN — As the COVID-19 pandemic enters its six month, Ogden City has nearly $6 million in new federal funding to dole out to local businesses.
The money comes from the federal government’s Coronavirus Relief Fund, which was established with the CARES Act, and is being distributed by the state. Utah received $1.25 billion in CRF funding and is giving the money out to counties and municipalities using a population-based formula.
The city received an initial round of the funding in June and distributed money to local businesses from July 1 through Aug. 16. According to Ogden City Council documents, the state has awarded Ogden an additional $5.6 million.
Sara Meess, with Ogden’s business development department, said the city received 90 applications and ultimately gave out $4 million to Ogden small businesses during the first funding wave. Meess said grants varied greatly in amount, from $10,000 for some sole-proprietor, small businesses, all the way up to $200,000 for some local nonprofits and businesses with higher employee counts.
Ogden’s program will help cover virus-related shortfalls between necessary business expenses and existing funding sources — whether that’s normal business revenue, or money local companies received through previous federal or state COVID-19 assistance programs. General economic support grants are also being given during the latest round of funding, Meess said.
The City Council is expected to consider a budget amendment that recognizes the new funding on Tuesday, Sept. 15. Meess said the city will begin accepting applications this month and more information on the program can be found at Ogdencares.com.
“We want people to know about what opportunities are here,” Ogden Mayor Mike Caldwell said. “Our small businesses are the lifeblood of our community and it’s critical those businesses that have been impacted by this understand what’s out there to help them get back on their feet, keep people employed and keep our economy humming.”
Weber County is also teaming with all the other cities in the county, except Harrisville, as part of a similar initiative, the Weber County CARES Grant Program, and received initial grant funds of around $12 million during the first funding phase. County Economic Development Director Holin Wilbanks said the county is still distributing money and expects to receive additional funding later this month. Outside of Ogden, Wilbanks said the county has distributed more than $7.3 million to 470 businesses. For more information, visit Webercares.com.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development announced an additional $24 million available in its “Shop In Utah” program. GOED Media Relations Manager Tony Young said the program strives to help keep Utah businesses afloat by providing grants for companies to give discounts and coupons to their patrons.
The program is available to Utah businesses with 250 employees or fewer that experienced a revenue decline due to the pandemic. Businesses can receive varying amounts of money, but at least 50% of whatever they receive must be used to offer coupons, discounts or other financial incentives to customers.
For more information, go to utahgoed.info/shop-in-utah.