With the tragedy of the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the nation in the spring of 2020 and continuing to this day, we know this year has been tough for Weber County residents and especially Weber County businesses and nonprofit organizations. Uncertainty and instability are not easy feelings to overcome, so with great honor and responsibility we were grateful to be able to offer relief through the Weber CARES grant.
The Weber CARES grant program was funded by the federal Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF), which was established by the CARES Act. Weber County partnered with 13 cities and their mayors to develop a program that could provide the most amount of relief to the largest number of organizations. Since July, and through two rounds of this program, Weber County has been able to come to the aid of nearly 700 businesses in our area. Within just the first round of the Weber CARES grant applications, which ran from early July to mid-September, Weber County awarded over $7.1 million dollars in federal relief funding to local businesses.
With tremendous help from County Treasurer John Bond and his team of not only employees but volunteers, Weber County was able to streamline an amazing program that made the application process simple and the approval process quick and fool-proof. Our Weber County commissioners, Gage Froerer, Jim Harvey and Scott Jenkins, held a tele-town hall after the first round of funding to answer questions, provide valuable information and ensure the optimization of the second round of funding.
“It has been an amazing experience watching this program come together and feeling the gratitude from Weber County businesses during this difficult and trying time,” Froerer said. “We could not be more grateful for this opportunity and the hard work of John Bond and his dedicated team.”
The second round of Weber CARES applications closed on Sept. 16. Nearly 200 applications were received in that time. Weber County was able to award nearly $2 million dollars in federal relief funding across 139 businesses in the second round of the Weber CARES Grant program. A third round of the Weber CARES Grant program is still under consideration, with discussion of targeting larger businesses to offer COVID-19 relief. Contingent on a number of variables, details of a third round will be shared if and when they become available.
Weber County also partnered with Ogden City to help facilitate their Ogden CARES program to provide funding to businesses within Ogden City and nonprofits within Weber County. “We like to see all of our cities succeed. We appreciated having the opportunity to boost Ogden City and their business community.” Jenkins said. The Ogden CARES Grant closed on Oct. 4. Information regarding funding and results has not been released yet, but we are confident they ran a successful program.
Weber County businesses are the lifeblood of our community. This year has been difficult but Weber County remains united and will continue to work together to support our businesses, help them overcome and ultimately be successful in the face of adverse times. Thank you to everyone who has contributed to the success of our county.