Firms receive $1.2 million in subsidies from Pitkin County

Firms receive $1.2 million in subsidies from Pitkin County

The Aspen Community Foundation screened the 129 applications submitted for the program, and awarded between $5,000 and $25,000 to 99 of those businesses during three rounds of review, he said. A total of $1,254,000 has been or will be doled out to those businesses, for an average of $12,667 per business, Peacock said.

“I’m very grateful,” said Mawa McQueen, owner of Mawa’s Kitchen at the Aspen Business Center, which received $25,000. “Now, instead of being four months late (on rent), I’m only a month late. Now I don’t have to close in the offseason.”

The 30 firms that did not receive money either did not meet the necessary criteria, did not demonstrate need, or had significant public health violations,” said Peacock.

Kelly McNicholas Kury, chair of the Pitkin County Council, has been a leading voice in support of the grant programme and said Friday that she has been advocating for it since last summer.

And while she knows that $25,000 is the revenue of a single night for some restaurants and that the grants cannot compensate for losses due to the pandemic, she is pleased that the county is able to provide some assistance to struggling businesses.

“I feel that one of the biggest roles of the county, of the commissioners, has been to try to mitigate public health orders,” she said. “It’s not about bridging the gap (in terms of loss of income) but I think it was very important for us to do that”.

eceived the maximum $25,000, according to a list of the grants. However, retail businesses, personal services and a couple nonprofits that rely on transactions, like Aspen Gymnastics, also received a piece of the pie, Peacock said.

The money Pitkin County put up for the grant program came from about $4.3 million in federal CARES Act dollars the county received and shared with the city of Aspen, Snowmass Village, Basalt and the Aspen Ambulance District.

“The grants were really helpful,” said Adam Malmgren, co-owner and general manager of Mi Chola, which received $25,000 from Pitkin County. “The most important thing was to keep all my staff working. Nothing’s a drop in the bucket in situations like this.”

Wendy Harris, owner of the New Belgium Ranger Station at the Snowmass Village Mall, said she spent the $15,000 she received from Pitkin County on improvements to the business’ outdoor patio.

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