CARES Funds Update: Los Alamos County Concerned That Few Have Applied For Individual Emergency Grants And Small Business Continuity Grants

COUNTY News:

…County officials urge community, businesses to apply by deadline coming up Friday, Sept. 25  

County project managers reported today that very few individuals and businesses have submitted applications for CARES funding, causing concern that the community may not be aware that funds are available.

“At this time we have only received a handful of applications for small business assistance or individual emergency grants,” Chief Financial Officer Helen Perraglio said. “We want to do everything possible to get these funds out into the community, and so we’re stepping up our efforts this week to be sure that we spread the word.”

Perraglio said of particular concern is the misunderstanding that non-profits are not eligible for the Small Business Continuity of Operations grants, when in fact they are eligible to apply.

She also noted that many individuals are not aware that the County has funds for those needing childcare assistance, temporary emergency rental, utilities and mortgage assistance because of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Los Alamos County was awarded $656,250 under a COVID-19 Emergency Grant to Local Governments for individual assistance and $1,065,000 for small businesses – for a total of more than $1.7 million that is available to address needs in our community,” Perraglio said, adding that County staff are available to answer questions about applying and the forms are easy to download online:

https://www.losalamosnm.us/cms/One.aspx?portalId=6435810&pageId=16987478 

Perraglio stressed that the County has not placed any minimum or cap on funding requests.  

“If anyone or any business thinks they might be eligible under the criteria we’ve outlined in the applications, we are urging them to apply by Friday at 5 p.m.,” she said, adding that there is no guarantee there will be another round of funding or second application cycle.

Questions and applications for the individual Emergency Grants can be sent to CARESassistance@lacnm.us or by calling 505.663.1966, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.  

Questions and applications for the Small Business Grants can be sent to CARESbusiness@lacnm.us or by calling 505.663.1967, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Business owners also may call Barbara Lai in the Community Development office on her County cell phone at 505.709.7846 to ask questions.  

Appointments to discuss application questions also may be requested. Applications for the individual Emergency Grants (childcare assistance, temporary emergency rental, utilities and mortgage assistance) will be processed through the Social Services Division at 1505 15th St., Suite A. Applications for the Small Business Grants will be processed through the Community Development Department in Ste. 150 at the Municipal Building, 1000 Central Ave.  

Individuals submitting email applications with attachments are asked to transmit files no larger than 35MB per file, because of incoming email file size restrictions. Multiple emails may be appropriate to address these concerns, however, if unable to transmit attachments via email, individuals and businesses may drop off copies of their documents at the locations listed above during regular business hours. The County also will accept Drop Box or other secured files as long as individuals or businesses provide instructions on how to retrieve the files.

For those without computer or internet access, printed copies of the applications will be available in the Social Services office and Community Development office at the locations listed above. Use of the fillable PDF form and online email submittal is preferred because of the COVID-19 pandemic and State’s public health order.  

Zoom meetings have been held and recordings are available on the CARES page as well for the community to watch. Another Q&A Zoom is scheduled for at noon Wednesday, Sept. 23, specifically for Los Alamos Based/Headquartered Non Profit Organizations:  

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83248474522?pwd=OURybkpBZXhWVkE1clo4bklJUCtRQT09  

+1 669 900 9128 US
Meeting ID: 832 4847 4522
Passcode: 092481

The County also has been posting Frequently Asked Questions to the CARES webpage as they receive and answer questions:

https://www.losalamosnm.us/cms/One.aspx?portalId=6435810&pageId=16987478  

“We’re doing everything we can to help with applications,” Perraglio said. “If we don’t have the answer to a question, we’re actively seeking guidance from the State, but may not have an answer by the deadline, so we still encourage you to submit an application. In addition, we’re checking applications to be sure they’re complete so that no application gets disqualified at the initial review stage.”

Perraglio urged the community to share the information about the grants through their own resources, including sharing out posts on social media or emailing the link to the CARES page to friends and family members.

“We only have a few days left to apply,” she said, “and we need the community to help us get the word out as much as they possibly can.”

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