Small-business owners in El Paso County could have a lifeline tossed their way thanks to a new grant program, a county news release announced.

El Paso County is working with the Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments to disperse funding locally after the state Legislature passed a Senate bill devoting money to COVID-19 relief for small businesses.

The grant program, known as the 2021 Pikes Peak Small Business COVID-19 Relief Program, seeks to provide restaurants, bars (including breweries, wineries and distilleries), caterers, movie theaters, gyms, and recreation centers a financial boost during the pandemic.

Business that lost 20% in revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic since March 26, 2020, are eligible for grant awards up to $7,000.

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Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments and El Paso County also teamed up with Colorado Enterprise Fund to help distribute the grants by collecting, processing and reviewing all of the grant applications.

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“As Colorado’s small businesses continue to be impacted by the pandemic, we’ve seen how important it is for them to have multiple sources of support,” Ceyl Prinster, president and CEO of Colorado Enterprise Fund, said. “Through this collaborative effort, these funds will get to those that need it most. Our goal is to make it as easy and smooth as possible.”

Businesses can submit applications online at until 5 p.m. Jan. 29.

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