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City of Twin Falls creates grant program for local businesses affected by COVID-19

Posted at 6:44 PM, Oct 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-30 20:44:36-04

TWIN FALLS — The city of Twin Falls has designated $500,000 from its Coronavirus Relief Fund, provided by the state, to help give financial relief for local businesses and organizations that have been impacted by COVID-19.

While the economy of Twin is doing relatively well, businesses still have their struggles. This grant sets out to ease some of that stress, with businesses being able to apply for a grant of up to $10,000.

The Vice Mayor of Twin and councilwoman, Ruth Pierce, said, "Everybody is still having their struggles. Obviously, restaurants aren't to their full capacity, and even other stores a lot of people are staying home." Assistant to the City Manager, Mandi Thompson, added, "You know, it's an opportunity to offset some expenses."

To be eligible to apply for the grants, there is a set list of criteria that businesses need to fit. "It must be an established business within the twin falls city limits. 500 or less employees. You must have a valid EIN, employee ID number," said Pierce.

While local businesses can apply for other grants, they cannot use the city's funds for the same expenses covered by other grants.

The grant acts as a reimbursement and must be used for expenses related to COVID such as rent, utility bills, an investment for a large event that had to be canceled, and especially the purchasing of PPE.

"PPE, sanitary supplies, disinfecting supplies, if you're paying for tests to have your employees tested. Things like that that are specific to COVID-19," said Thompson.

The application will open on Sunday, November 1st, and will remain open until November 30th. Grants will be awarded and distributed as soon as possible and will be given on a first-come-first-serve basis. Since it is a first-come, first-serve, the city encourages businesses to apply as quickly as possible.

"Not necessarily everybody is going to apply for a 10,000 dollar grant. I recognize that. But I would say only 50 businesses in a town of our size if everybody applies for 10,000 dollars, it would go pretty fast," said Pierce.

Unless the federal government gives an extension for the CARES act, the city has until December 30th to use all of the Coronavirus Relief Funds. If not used, it will be returned to the state and then returned to the government.

The application for the grant can be found on the city's website.