Pinal County is opening a third round of funding for businesses impacted by COVID-19.
The funds are for first-time applicants operating businesses in unincorporated areas.
“Those folks will be the first ones processed in December, and then in January and February that’s where we start accepting for anybody that’s a repeat application,” Economic Development Director Tim Kanavel told county supervisors Wednesday.
The county’s Business Sustainability Program has $750,903 remaining of its $2 million recovery monies. Eligible businesses can receive up to $15,000. The expenses claimed must have accrued for a three-month period between March 1, 2020, and Feb. 28, 2021.
Businesses that re-apply cannot apply for the same time period they previously claimed.
The program funds were part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act distribution. The program is meant to off-set the impact of mortgage payments, rent, utilities and revenue decrease during the pandemic.
Originally, the county asked applicants to prove a 25% revenue loss due to the effects of coronavirus. Kanavel asked the board to lower that to 20% or even less.
“Right now, COVID is coming back. That’s a real scare for a lot of folks right now, as you can imagine,” he said. “To be able to prove a 25% loss, some of these companies can’t afford to live with a 25% loss to be able to qualify for this.”
District 3 Supervisor Todd House said the COVID situation is only going to get worse and continue to hurt businesses. He agreed with Kanavel that 25% proof of loss was high.
“A lot of the stores that I deal with or know of work on an 8%-10% margin,” House said. “I think a 10% loss equates to employees. I want to keep as many people employed as possible.”
The board voted to lower the proof-of-loss requirement to 10%.
“A loss of jobs is a loss of revenue in all areas,” District 2 Supervisor Mike Goodman said. “If we’re hurting families, we’re hurting our communities.”