Dillon to expand COVID-19 relief grant program to more businesses
Additional help is on the way for Dillon businesses that have been impacted by public health restrictions in recent months.
The Dillon Town Council unofficially approved another grant program during a special meeting Tuesday, Dec. 29, meant to provide additional financial assistance to businesses that were forced to reduce customer capacity in compliance with state and county public health orders.
The new program serves as an expansion of a recently enacted restaurant grant program passed by the town earlier this month, opening up the funds to help out gyms, movie theaters and other businesses that can show significant economic harm as a result of the pandemic.
Earlier this month, Dillon Town Council approved $210,000 in grant assistance that offered as much as $10,000 to local restaurants to help reimburse them for their rent or mortgage payments for December and January. Ten of the town’s 21 restaurants requested funding through the program, and the town ultimately paid out $80,000.
The remaining $130,000 will be used to fund the new program, which again will offer as much as $10,000 to help businesses pay their rent in January and February. The program will be opened up for restaurants, but also will allow businesses in other sectors to apply, such as gyms, movie theaters, recreation centers and other personal services like yoga studios and salons.
In order to be eligible for the grant program, business owners must be able to show they’ve suffered at least a 20% reduction in revenue between March and November compared with 2019 due to capacity limitations. The previous restaurant grant program only required proof of a 10% reduction in revenue.
Council members decided not to expand the program to all retail businesses in Dillon but did leave the door open for any businesses facing exigent circumstances.
“I think that’s safer at this point, or more consistent,” council member Jen Barchers said. “There can always be other rounds. … If there are businesses approaching (us) with some weird, crazy situation that’s not included in this, we could judge each of those by a case-by-case basis in the future.”
The Town Council is expected to formally adopt the program via a resolution at the next regular meeting Tuesday, Jan. 5.
Council member Steve Milroy also recommended the group dive into more holistic discussions about other ways the town could help local businesses in the near future. Staff members pointed to programs that other towns in the county have launched, like the Love Frisco, Shop Frisco gift card campaign or Silverthorne’s 12 Days of Dining promotion, as inspiration.
“I think those are all interesting ideas, and there are different models we can work off of,” said Kerstin Anderson, Dillon’s marketing and communication’s director. “… I think that would be really valuable coming into this lull in January where it is a lot of locals around. There are certain time periods where restaurants could use some help from the local community.”
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