A Colorado business support fund has been given $100,000 by local aggregates producer Prowers Aggregate.
Southeast Colorado Enterprise Development (SECED), the regional economic development agency representing Baca, Bent, Crowley, Kiowa, Otero and Prowers counties, has been given a significant funding boost by the donation.
The money will help support local businesses affected by COVID-19.
SECED is now encouraging businesses in its six-county area to begin applying for grants up to $1,000 each.
“SECED, Inc. is extremely appreciative and thoroughly pleased to announce that Prowers Aggregate, an important Prowers County business, has made an initial commitment of $100,000 to the SE COVID-19 Business Support Fund,” says executive director Stephanie Gonzales.
Prowers Aggregate has made an initial donation of $100,000, with $40,000 committed to its home county of Prowers and $40,000 to the other regional counties.
The remaining $20,000 has been set aside as a “matching fund” to encourage others to donate. All being well, SECED will have another $40,000 to give away in grants.
“As construction has been deemed an essential service during the pandemic, Prowers Aggregate has continued to operate and wants to give back to local businesses who have been impacted the most,” said Gonzales.
“We want to help local businesses during this unprecedented COVID-19 crisis,” agreed Karl Nyquist, President of Prowers Aggregates.
“We hope that the money we have donated will help businesses to re-open and get people back to work, whether they are located in our hometown of Lamar, Prowers County or any of the other five adjacent counties that comprise the Southeast Colorado Enterprise area.
“The Prowers County business community and government leaders have been extremely valuable partners to Prowers Aggregate and have played a key role to our success. We want to give back.”
Also, Prowers is planning to donate a further $10,000 per month for several months to provide food for its employees, for first responders, and other front line personnel in order to support local restaurants.
The SECED fund will give grants of up to $1,000 to businesses that have been forced to close or limit services due to COVID-19.
Applications will be considered based on the following criteria: appraised ability to survive and resume standard business operations in 30-60 days; viability up to March 2020; and demonstration of a genuine effort and/or ability to leverage funding with other sources including traditional lending.