Denver’s Department of Finance has earmarked $4 million in COVID-19 emergency funds for residents, workers and businesses hurt by the pandemic, officials announced Thursday.
That cash will come from the city’s COVID-19 Emergency Special Revenue Fund, which is stocked with federal CARES Act dollars, Julie Smith, Department of Finance spokeswoman, said in a news release. And the money must be spent before the end of the year.
In short, $1.5 million will provide grants to local small businesses closed or otherwise hurt by public health orders set during the pandemic, Smith said. Another $1.5 million will go to the city’s Temporary Rental and Utility Assistance Program for residents in need of money for rent and utilities. That money will also help prevent evictions, she said.
And the last $1 million will go to restaurant and hotel workers who have been laid off, furloughed or otherwise had a drop in income, Smith said.
“We are doing everything we can to maximize our local funding and resources to support the Denver community hardest hit by the pandemic, but without an additional federal stimulus dollars from Congress, tens of thousands of Denver workers will lose their pandemic unemployment, businesses will lose tax credits and deductions that have helped them avoid laying off or furloughing more workers,” Mayor Michael Hancock said in a statement.
To date, Denver has received about $126.8 million in federal relief dollars, Smith said. Unused federal cash will be spent on the city’s eligible 2020 expenses or on the city’s emergency and recovery needs next year.