As 2020 comes to a close, Parachute begins third round of assisting local small businesses

Ever since the arrival of COVID-19, the town of Parachute has helped support their small businesses with two rounds of financial assistance.

With 2020 finally coming to a close, the city announced Tuesday it will soon begin distributing to small businesses its third round of financial assistance. Through what’s called the “Business Interim Relief Program,” local small businesses are eligible to receive up to $1,000 to help defray overhead expenses such as rent as well as gas and electric utilities.

Brick and mortar businesses interested in applying for the grant have until 5:30 p.m. Dec. 9. Applications can be found on the town’s website. Once the application is received and approved, the Town will work with individual business owners to pay bills directly.

Parachute Town Manager Stuart McArthur said a portion of the federal $2 trillion economic stimulus package Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act will then reimburse the city budget after the city doles out the funds. The process is facilitated through the Colorado Department of Local Affairs.

“The Town wants to help our community’s current businesses succeed despite the current situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic guidelines,” McArthur said in a news release.

The first two allocations of financial assistance, however, were double the amount of this year’s final round. McArthur said, before, each approved applicant received $2,000 for rent and mortgage costs as well as utilities.

The first round saw 30 applicants, with 25 approvals. The second round saw 25 applicants and 25 approvals. So far, the city has dispersed about $78,787 in relief.

Many local businesses in Parachute need assistance right now — liquor and marijuana stores are the only businesses so far this year to see revenue increases from 2019.“Liquor stores are up about 31% over last year and marijuana is up 3% compared to 2019,” McArthur said. He’s basing the figures on recorded sales tax. “I’m assuming that people have a lot more time on their hands and they’re trying to make their way through life.”

On the flipside, McArthur said in comparison to September 2019, September 2020 saw Parachute restaurants lose 10% in revenue. Its hotels, meanwhile, saw a 5% drop.

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