Grant funding available from city for businesses shut down during COVID-19 pandemic

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Robert Perea, The Fernley Reporter

Applications are now available and will be accepted July 20-24 for funding from the City of Fernley to local businesses that were shut down during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The program will distribute $5,000 each to 50 qualifying local small businesses on a first come, first served basis.

Grant applications are available on the city’s website and must be submitted during the week of July 20-24 for consideration.

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A portion of the money comes from the Fernley Convention and Tourism Authority, with the rest from CARES Act funding the city is receiving.

With many local events being canceled, the FCTA had $36,900 left over after awarding three grants to nonprofit organizations for local events. City Councilman Albert Torres suggested using the remaining money to support small businesses that were forced to close during the COVID-19 pandemic. The council then added $250,000 from the CARES Act for the program.

“We hope it helps,” City Manager Daphne Hooper said.

To qualify, businesses must be local, Fernley businesses that have been open at least 12 months prior to the COVID-19 shutdown on March 19, were shut down during the COVID-19 pandemic, are in good standing with federal, state and city business licensing and business taxes, and have not received state or federal COVID-19-related financial assistance, Home-based businesses do not qualify.

Grant applications will be accepted by email only at FernleyCARESAct@cityoffernley.org the week of July 20-24, 2020. Email grant questions to FernleyCARESAct@cityoffernley.org. Hooper said the applications must be submitted via email so the city can track the order the applications were received. Any businesses that don’t have access to email can contact City Hall for help.

The CARE Act Funding can only be used to cover expenses that are necessary expenditures incurred due to the COVID-19 between March 1, 2020 through December 30, 2020.

“It can’t be used for payroll, but other than payroll, it’s pretty wide open what it can be used for,” Torres said.

He also emphasized that the funding is a grant, not a loan, and doesn’t have to be paid back.

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