The Lafayette Urban Renewal Authority on Tuesday approved creating a micro grant program to assist businesses within the authority’s district that have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
In April, both Lafayette City Council and the authority participated in a small business emergency relief grant program and assisted 94 businesses with a total of $382,500.
On Tuesday, Urban Renewal Authority members agreed to spend up to $100,000 for the micro grant program, which would give $2,000 grants for businesses to use on lease or mortgage payments or utilities.
“Our purpose in the program is to help prevent the return of blight to the Old Town Urban Renewal Revitalization Area and to forestall the loss of any business,” said Chairperson Kevin Muller. “The city, the business owners, the LURA have invested well in the Old Town District over the past two decades and have enabled a great revitalization of our original commercial district.”
The micro grant program will provide limited financial assistance to businesses that did not qualify for the city’s program, or did not apply in time, according to a staff report.
Originally, the Urban Renewal Authority discussed using the funds that were not distributed in the city program, but Vice Chairperson Carolyn Cutler and member Faith Rodgers said the the authority needed to provide more funding. Of the $200,000 the Urban Renewal Authority pledged to the city program, $133,000 was spent.
“I feel like 32 businesses isn’t going to be very meaningful,” Rodgers said of the $77,000 being split into $2,000 grants. “If we’re really going to do this, we should do it.”
Authority member Luke Arrington said he felt like the process to create the program was rushed.
“I’d like to have had more time to think about the bigger picture,” Arrington said.
He added there are projects the Urban Renewal Authority could need in the coming months and wanted to be able to see if the funds could be used for those.
Businesses who did not receive a grant under the city’s program will be eligible for the micro grant program if they are located in the Urban Renewal Authority district.
Those interested will need to complete an an application and provide a brief narrative, documentation on their lease or mortgage, a W-9 and documents from the Colorado Secretary of State showing good standing.
Executive Director Roger Caruso said the authority hopes to have the application available to the public before the process begins, which could be May 22.
While he said there may not be a closing date, there could be a first review process shortly after the process begins.
For more information or for questions, contact Caruso at 303-435-0374 or email [email protected]