PUEBLO — Grind Haus Cafe on Union Avenue learned quickly how useful grants can be for local businesses during the pandemic.
Co-Owners Kellie Cowger and Charles Sole said many people do not realize how many additional costs come with COVID-19.
"The sanitizer that we have upfront, we've got a new sanitizer for all the tables, we have to buy masks all the time, extra gloves." Sole rattled off.
Grind Haus received some CARES funding from Pueblo County when they applied during the second round of grants. Now, some other local businesses will get the same opportunity.
Pueblo County is receiving an additional $5,811,184 in CARES money and every cent is going to exclusively to small businesses.
The county applied for $6 million dollars from emergency funds that the state has been reserving in order to help meet the needs of local businesses that have yet to receive money. However, only businesses that applied previously for relief funds, in rounds one through three, are eligible for the new grants.
"What this money allows us to do is go back and meet that need," said County Commissioner Garrison Ortiz. "We had well an excess of $6 million dollars that we weren't able to fulfill, so we're just really excited that we received this money... We can go back and try to make these businesses whole."
Ortiz emphasized that this round of grants will be especially inclusive, saying that the money will go towards "restaurants, bars, gyms, but also in recognition that there are other businesses in entertainment that are going to be a big focus."
The county says that if any local business is in need of funding, but is in eligible for this round because they did not apply previously, they should keep their eyes open for more funds coming from the city with different regulations around January.
Last week Pueblo City Council passed their own additional $1,000,000 in CARES money dedicated to the small businesses support and recovery program.
In July the city and county began discussing how to distribute $14 million of CARES funds.
As of now, Pueblo county has 12,083 confirmed positive and probable cases and 250 deaths related to COVID-19, according to Pueblo county's website.