Members of the Helper City Council met on Monday afternoon for a special meeting pertaining to the CARES Act funding that was received by local government agencies to be distributed to assist local businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Vikki Ori of Washington Federal Bank joined the meeting to discuss how the amounts for the funds were decided. Mayor Lenise Peterman informed members of the council that the city received five applications. Smith Transit requested $736,463, Ceramic Fine Arts & Design requested $10,000, K2 Gallery requested $5,000, Swift Stop & Shop requested $86,000 and Marsha’s Sammich Shop made a request for $26,000. Ori then explained that a number of topics went into decision making. These are the five businesses that have applied in Helper thus far; however, Mayor Peterman assured that businesses have until the end of 2020 to apply.
First, they reviewed if the business had received assistance previously and what the funds were being utilized for. It was summarized that there was not enough funds to administer the full amount requested in nearly all of the cases.
With this in mind, they then considered how they could assist the business to keep them on their feet until the end of the year. Ori stated that, from there, it is possible to look again and determine what funds are still available and money may be allotted to those that were cut short.
Mayor Peterman also stated that the Association of Local Governments (AOG) had agreed to match an amount of $25,000 toward Smith Transit if Helper contributed the same amount to assist them with ticket costs throughout the end of the year. With that, the council approved Smith Transit to receive a total of $50,000 through the match.
Ceramic Fine Arts & Design as well as K2 Gallery were awarded $5,000 each. Swift Stop & Shop received $28,000 while Marsha’s Sammich Shop received $13,000. These amounts were approved by the council.
“I am excited to start dispersing CARES funding to Helper area businesses. The goal of this funding is to support small businesses who have been impacted by the COVID pandemic and to assist them in keeping their doors open. I would like to thank the AOG, Carbon County Commissioners and Helper representatives on the review board for developing a fair and ethical process for distributing these funds and allowing Helper City to participate. I also want to thank Helper City Council for approving the recommendations so we can get these funds to our local businesses,” Mayor Peterman stated.