Park City Municipal awarded over $2 million in state and federal grant money to in-need local small businesses and nonprofits on Friday. For full disclosure, KPCW was also a recipient of a grant.
When it was all said and done, 157 local small businesses and nonprofit organizations received $2.2 million dollars in state and federal CARES grant money. The funding was secured by the city in October and local organizations had to show unmet financial hardships due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Park City Mayor Andy Beerman told KPCW the city was eager to help those organizations hardest hit by the pandemic, especially those who had yet to take advantage of outside funding.
“The grants, on the large scale, were targeted towards small businesses and organizations with a preference to those that hadn’t earlier benefited from other federal funding or public funding to help with the COVID impacts,” said Beerman.
Park City Councilmembers Steve Joyce and Nann Worel were both appointed council liaisons to oversee the grant distribution process and made their final decisions on the grants on Wednesday. Beerman said it was not easy work.
“They painstakingly went through every single application, seeing who best fits the criteria and made the decision to allocate to these 157,” Beerman said. “I think pretty much anybody that put in that qualified got some level of funding.”
Beerman said CARES money had only been allocated based on population earlier in the pandemic, but Park City and other resort-focused towns like Moab were able to successfully lobby the state for more funds after showing significant economic impacts due to reduced tourism.
“I have to really credit my peers,” he said. “Mayor Niehaus from Moab and myself are both on the board of directors for the Utah League of Cities and Towns. As we were discussing impacts on our individual communities, economic impacts, we realized that Park City and Moab and a few other resort towns were extreme outliers in terms of the economic impacts of COVID, and that, in fact, many of our peer cities have seen increases in their sales tax and retail sales throughout this crisis. We brought that up with them, we made our case, the case was pretty easy to make because they were staggered by how hard the hit was, and then they got behind a request to the state to get some additional funding based on a new formula.”
The CARES grant money was handed out in person on Friday by city staff and members of the city council.
A full list of CARES grant recipients can be found here.