News from the City of Las Vegas:
City Of Las Vegas Announces Second Wave Of Emergency Business Grants
More Than 1,000 Local Businesses Assisted To Date
The city of Las Vegas will reopen its emergency grant program to provide an additional $2 million in funding in order to help more businesses. The second round of grant applications will open at 9 a.m. Monday, July 20, at www.lasvegasnevada.gov/ReopeningGrant. New applications will be accepted until July 31 or until sufficient applications have been received.
Last month, the city created and offered an emergency grant to help city businesses fund expenses associated with personal protective equipment (PPE), facility retrofit for health and safety measures or other expenses reasonably needed to prepare the business for reopening or expanded reopening. This emergency grant was made possible by the city of Las Vegas through $4 million in funds received from the Coronavirus Relief Fund of the CARES Act. Each grant was approximately $4,000 and was awarded to 1,000 businesses ranging from restaurants and bars to retail and cosmetology establishments.
“When we were awarded the federal funding for those affected by this pandemic, we wanted to make an impact on our small business community,” Las Vegas City Manager Scott Adams said. “They have put their life savings, blood, sweat and tears into their businesses only to have an unprecedented pandemic turn everything upside down. We wanted these businesses to know there was help from the city they call home, so it is satisfying to see that the money is being used as intended. It is for this reason that we have extended the program.”
The second round of the program includes expanded eligibility requirements. The city is now allowing home-based businesses to apply if they meet the employee threshold requirement (three to 25 employees). In addition, the program will cover any businesses that were open on or prior to March 11, as evidenced by a business license. To be eligible, the business needs to have an active city business license, three to 25 fulltime equivalent employees and be committed to upholding all of the recommendations and/or comply with any mandates for reopening from the state of Nevada and the Southern Nevada Health District.
The Hydrant Club, a dog training facility and social club, is one of the businesses affected by the pandemic.
“As a small business owner, this pandemic has been a real challenge. Figuring out how to shore up my business, keep my staff employed and my clients happy has been a 24/7 operation,” said Cathy Brooks, owner of the Hydrant Club. “On top of it all, there's the imperative to ensure my business is operating in a way that is safe for my employees and my club members. When I looked at the spreadsheet of costs related to COVID retrofitting properly, my heart sank because it was more than we could afford. Thanks to the COVID business grant from the city of Las Vegas, my problem was solved. I am so grateful to the city for all that it is doing to support small businesses and feel both blessed and deeply proud to call Las Vegas home."
Restaurants are still operating under limited parameters and must include PPE and strict sanitization under the current guidelines. According to Dan Coughlin, owner of both Le Thai restaurant locations, each day his team needs to be prepared mentally just to deal with all the changes in operation.
“We are learning how to deal with this as we go,” Coughlin said. “It’s challenging for restaurants and bars as we work to keep up our business and ensure that all the guidelines are followed. We were able to use the funds from this grant to bulk buy masks, gloves and disinfectants, so we can continue to give our customers confidence and peace of mind as they join us each day. Our staff was looking to us for these important items, so when we were able to provide plenty of them with this grant money, you could tell they were relieved.”
According to Sean Blanchard, co-owner of The Good Wolf lifestyle store downtown, retail operations are also in need of protective equipment for customer safety.
“We are so grateful for the support that the city of Las Vegas has shown small business during these trying times for owners,” Blanchard said. “As owners of a lifestyle shop with a focus on apparel, home and gift, our aim is to create a unique shopping experience while allowing our guests to feel as comfortable and as safe as possible. With this comes our responsibility to ensure we are able to provide PPE to our guests for purchase (designed by a local artist), or we offer complimentary masks if our guests aren’t equipped. We also have increased our inventory in home care, all-purpose disinfectants and sanitizers. Moving forward, we are confident in the latest mandate and feel good about our guests feeling comfortable while taking the right precautions.”