Beginning Friday, Sept. 11 at 8:00 a.m., Los Alamos County will open the application period for individuals and small businesses to apply for Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) funding received from the Federal Government and disbursed through the State of New Mexico’s Department of Finance Administration (DFA) to local governments. The application period will close in two weeks, on Friday, Sept. 25 at 5:00 p.m. County Manager Harry Burgess was notified last week that the State has awarded Los Alamos County $656,250 under a COVID-19 Emergency Grant to Local Governments and $1,065,000 under Small Business Grants in Partnership with Local Governments, for a total of over $1.7 million that is available to address local needs.
On Friday, the County will post the applications and other information online on a new “Apply for CARES $” link on its webpage, along with a Quick Link icon and Alert Banner on the Home Page – the CARES Funding link for the applications in a fillable PDF form is:
Individuals impacted by COVID-19 since March will be able to complete an application for childcare assistance, temporary emergency rental, utilities and mortgage assistance. Small business grants will be available for continuity of operations.
Because of the ongoing pandemic, applicants are asked to e-mail rather than drop off their applications to the County for processing. They will be checked for completeness and then scheduled for review by a committee after the application period closes on Sept. 25. No minimum or cap on funding requests is set at this time; the County will assess the number of applications received against funds available and the needs of the community and businesses outlined in the applications. A second round of funding may be available for another application period, pending funding availability.
“We know that our community and businesses are anxious to apply for these funds, and we have worked through the process of award and guidance from the State as quickly as possible,” said Burgess, adding that this is a fluid and evolving process and more information will soon be available about the process of evaluating requests for funds.
“Our main focus this past week has been to get the application forms set up and general guidelines written about eligibility and funding, along with establishing project managers, staff contacts for questions, financial tracking systems, staff training and outreach,” he said, “We know that our community members and business owners will have questions as we move through the process and more information will be forthcoming about the review and evaluation of applications before September 25.”
Questions and applications for the individual Emergency Grants can be sent to CARESassistance@lacnm.us or by calling 505-663-1966 from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Questions and applications for the Small Business Grants can be sent to CARESbusiness@lacnm.us or by calling 505-663-1967 from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Appointments to discuss application questions can also be requested. Applications for the individual Emergency Grants (childcare assistance, temporary emergency rental, utilities and mortgage assistance)will be processed through the Social Services Division at 1505 15th Street, Suite A. Applications for the Small Business Grants will be processed through the Community Development Department in Ste 150 in the Municipal Building. Community Development Director Paul Andrus and Chief Financial Officer Helen Perraglio will present an overview of the business grant application and answer questions from businesses at a special Zoom meeting hosted by the local Chamber of Commerce at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 15.
Individuals submitting e-mail applications with attachments are asked to transmit files no larger than 35MB per file, because of incoming e-mail file size restrictions. Multiple emails may be appropriate to address these concerns, however, if unable to transmit attachments via e-mail, individuals and businesses can drop off copies of their documents at the locations listed above during regular business hours.
For those without computer or internet access, printed copies of the applications will be available in the Social Services office and Community Development office at the locations listed above. Use of the fillable PDF form and online email submittal is preferred because of the COVID-19 pandemic and State’s public health order.
Burgess asked for community support and patience as the process gets underway on Friday.
“As with many items related to the COVID-19 pandemic, these are unprecedented circumstances and rapidly evolving situations, and I would ask for our residents and businesses to be patient as we work through the process. We are open to questions and will do our best to assist applicants in completing the forms and necessary documents. Our Finance Office is attending additional CARES funding training with the State next week and we are in daily communication with DFA representatives as new questions arise. Any feedback from the community is greatly appreciated so that we can make changes and clarify items as we move through the application period,” he said.