Majority of Pueblo CARES Act funds sent toward small businesses

The city received of $6.5 million in relief
Pueblo Cares Act Money
Posted at 3:54 PM, Dec 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-29 20:32:49-05

PUEBLO — The City of Pueblo says it split up its over $6.5 million in CARES Act funding among twelve different categories.

Those categories include things like rent and hunger assistance, as well as cleaning and social distancing supplies for the city, and unemployment assistance.

But nearly $4 million of that went toward small businesses.

“We were tasked with spending $5.5 Million,” said Shelly Dunham with the CIty of Pueblo at the Pueblo City Council work session Monday night.

For the city, CARES Act funds came in a big way

“...And ended up being $6.5 Million, and this is how we spent it,” Dunham said.

The city split that money twelve different ways. But one area saw more relief than any other.

“The small business support is the largest category,” she said.

$3,898,173.47 went toward things like small business grants and outdoor dining amenities.

“There were 368 small businesses that received small business support,” said CIty of Pueblo Chief of Staff Laura Solano.

The big question--

“With all this money that was spent… did it make a difference,” said City of Pueblo District 2 Representative Larry Attencio.

“If we didn’t receive any grant money federal or local, we would’ve had to close months ago,” said Ken Sciacca, co-owner of The Senate Bar and Grill in Downtown Pueblo.

Sciacca has co-owned the restaurant since 2015.

“My favorite part of being a bar and grill owner is the people,” he said.

But with people being restricted from eating inside, business has been hurting.

“We haven’t done well since March,” Sciacca said.

There’s only one thing keeping him able to pay his staff.

“The paycheck protection allowed me to feed our employee,” he said.

He only has the money to do the essentials right now.

“It’s cliche, but we have a family dynamic with our staff,” Sciacca said.

A family--depending on that extra help, to stay together.

The city released a breakdown of how where the individual funds were spent.