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Survive and Thrive organizers say funds helped support 40,000 jobs in Colorado Springs

Business Relief fund awards $2.2M businesses and nonprofits in El Paso County
Posted at 1:01 PM, Jun 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-06 17:30:15-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — Colorado Springs city officials gathered Monday afternoon to release the findings of a study analyzing the economic impacts of loans and grants created to help support businesses during the pandemic.

In a release, the city said the study by Summit Economics looked into several "loan and grant programs set up to assist businesses."

Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers was joined by Commissioner Mark Waller, Natasha Main of Exponential Impact, Tony Rosendo of the Pikes Peak Community Foundation, and Susan Edmondson with Downtown Development Authority.

Mayor Suthers says the Survive and Thrive initiative helped support more than 4,000 businesses and 40,000 jobs representing billions in economic impact to the city alongside an estimate $33.8 million in the form of sales tax revenue.

Millions of dollars came in from philanthropic organizations at first, then came in the form of taxpayer money, went out in less than two weeks towards small businesses in need of assistance to stay afloat.

El Paso County Commissioners directed millions in CARES Act funding to assist local businesses. There is still $7.6 million in funding still available from this source that needs to be distributed out via grants by the county commission.

On top of the financial support, the Survive and Thrive program attached to Exponential Impact has partnered businesses with mentors meant to aid them in their business strategies. The goal, to help them not only get by (survive), but thrive during these difficult times.

In an effort to support those that are working to build up our small businesses, the Scripps Howard Foundation and KOAA presented Exponential Impact with a check of $5,000 towards the effort in June.

"I think everyone understands the economic impact of the COVID pandemic and even pre-COVID, how important it is to grow our local businesses and have localism in our area. I think Survive and Thrive does that in a very impactful way and helps our area," stated Evan Pappas, general manager for KOAA.

News5 has not yet seen the raw data on all of the recipients and amounts of money awarded during these programs.