Westminster City Council voted to support a $1.5 million small business relief fund to help qualifying businesses with rent and mortgage payments, as a result of hardship from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The emergency ordinance will appropriate $1.5 million from the city’s General Reserve Fund and transfer it to the General Fund to be used to assist small businesses.
“The City of Westminster is committed to the local economy and city council supports immediate action to help businesses mitigate these unprecedented challenges, in these unprecedented times,” said Westminster Mayor Herb Atchison.
The WestyRISE Business Grant may be used by qualifying businesses to satisfy fixed costs stemming from monthly rental and mortgage payments. Funds would come as a one-time grant that would equal the lesser of (i) 50 percent of each of two months’ rent or mortgage payments, or (ii) $7500.
The grant program eligibility period includes the first two monthly rent or mortgage payments due between March 17 and May 30, 2020. Monthly rental payments eligible for the grant include monthly base rent and any rent-related expenses, such as common area maintenance or reimbursement for insurance, utilities and taxes that may be a part of normal rent. Monthly mortgage payments eligible for the grant include principal and interest.
To qualify for a grant, a business must meet all of the following criteria:
- – Business has been forced to temporarily close or forced to dramatically limit operations due to the state’s Public Health Orders.
- – Business must have been in operation at least six months prior to the application date, with a physical address located within the City of Westminster.
- – Business must have an active Westminster business license.
- – Business applying for grant must be a small business and may have no more than 50 full-time equivalent (FTE) positions.
- – Businesses with more than one physical location in the City of Westminster may apply for the grant program for one location only. For purposes of estimating FTE’s, the FTE count shall be based only on the specific location applying for the grant. Corporately-owned national chains may not apply for the grant program.
- – Business must be in good standing with the City of Westminster as of March 1, 2020.
More information on the application process, along with the application, will be available on the City of Westminster’s Economic Development website (www.westminstereconomicdevelopment.org) at 8 a.m. on Monday, April 13. Businesses interested in applying will want to have the following materials readily available to submit with their application:
- – Support for the monthly rent or mortgage payment amount, such as an executed lease agreement or mortgage coupon
- – Westminster business license number
- – A current, signed IRS W-9 form for the business applicant
Grants for eligible businesses will be awarded on a first come, first served basis subject to funding availability. However, since this program is intended to help the businesses most impacted by the Public Health Orders to satisfy rent and mortgage obligations until other loans or funding sources can be secured, applications will only be accepted until May 30, 2020.