OGDEN, Utah — More than 250 businesses and nonprofits in Ogden have been awarded grants through the Ogden CARES program.
More than $11 million was given out, with grants ranging between about $1,400 to $300,000, Ogden City business development division manager Sara Meess said.
“We wish we could’ve reached even more businesses, but just working with the funds that we had available through the city and working in partnership with some funding from Weber County, we felt like we were really able to get that money out into the community,” she said.
The CARES money has helped keep employees paid and the doors open at Grounds for Coffee on Harrison Blvd, the owner said.
“We probably couldn’t have gotten through without it, honestly,” Suzy Dailey said.
It has been a difficult year, but being able to pivot and do to-go only has helped with business, Dailey said. They are hopeful with the vaccine that they will be able to reopen their dining room when their employees are protected.
“That has been our question since March, you know, when is this going to be over? How will we know what it is appropriate to reopen?” Dailey said.
The grant money also helped many nonprofits like the United Way of Northern Utah. The pandemic has brought many additional challenges, the organization's president and CEO Tim Jackson said.
“Part of the reality whenever there is an economic downturn is the needs increase and non-profit organizations that already often run on shoestring budgets are having to do even more with less,” he said.
The CARES money allowed the nonprofit to not only stay staffed but also help many people in the community, Jackson said.
“During the pandemic, if we didn’t have these additional resources, you would be seeing a lot more families falling through the cracks that are instead are able to sustain their livelihood. They are able to move forward and have hope,” he said.
Unfortunately, a handful of business haven’t been able to survive the pandemic, but now the city is working to help get the rest of the small businesses through the finish line, Meess said.
“We have seen kind of a mix. There are definitely some businesses that have stabilized as things start to head back towards normal and there are others that still are just really feeling that impact,” she said.
For more information on PPP loans and assistance for Utah businesses, click here.