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Local sweet shop applies for new Utah COVID-19 rental assistance program for small businesses

Posted at 7:11 PM, May 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-11 23:23:33-04

HERRIMAN, Utah — Monday was the first day small business owners could apply for rent relief.

The Utah COVID-19 Commercial Rental Assistance Program provides $40 million in rental relief for those who have lost revenue as a result of the pandemic.

The Salt City Sweet Shop has been open in Herriman for a little over two years.

Things were going smoothly until the pandemic, when co-owner Marc Drew learned they could apply for the State’s rental relief program.

“It will allow us to take some of that stress off of where next month’s rent is going to come from,” Drew said.

From handcrafted chocolates and treats to the candy and sodas that line the walls, everything in the sweet shop is a part of Drew and his wife’s sweet shop dreams.

“For us, this is a legacy that this business will be passed to our daughters,” he said.

Customers have not been allowed into the shop for nearly two months, and though Drew said they’ve lost employees and about $60,000 of cash, utilities and property rent is still due.

“Obligations haven’t stopped,” said Drew. “It’s been a challenge.”

Drew’s wife applied for the new Commercial Rental Assistance Program. Those who are eligible or the program have to:

  • Have a current lease on commercial property in the state of Utah
  • Claim Utah as their principal place of business
  • Be in operation with fewer than 100 employees on Feb. 15, 2020
  • Demonstrate at least a 50% loss of gross monthly revenue after March 1, 2020, as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Not received funds from the COVID-19 Agricultural Operations Grant Program (funded with federal CARES Act monies)

Ten thousand dollars is the most a small business can receive from this grant.

Businesses can receive between 25 to 100% of a single month of the business lease amount based on how much the company has lost of gross revenue and whether or not they’ve received any funds from the Paycheck Protection Program.

Checks will be in the mail for businesses as early as May 15th

For the Drew family, they say they were only eligible for 15% because they had applied for other grant funds — but even that, though, is a piece of hope.

“We can bring our employees back and it allows us to be a part of our city again,” said Drew.