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Small businesses in Las Cruces can receive grant money from the city for property damage

LAS CRUCES, New Mexico (KVIA) -- The city of Las Cruces says small business owners in town can still receive $2,500 in grant funding to repair storefront damage.

The Storefront Repair Grant was established and approved last year using around $400,000 in federal ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) funds. Those funds can be used to repair storefront property damage that occurred "as result of the negative economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic."

ABC-7 spoke with Chris Faivre, Deputy Director of Economic Development with the city of Las Cruces Monday about the funds.

"There was clearly a correlation between some of the issues that businesses were experiencing post-COVID, and so that funding was able to go towards [small businesses] to help their recovery," said Faivre.

Favire added almost all of the 120 applications the city has received have been funded.

"It's pretty basic parameters to get funded," said Faivre.

Some guidelines for funding include providing a police report and proof of any damages that occurred on or after January, 1st of 2021. A full list of guidelines can be found here.

The city's website says a second round of funding would be considered if the original funds were all expended by February 1st. of this year, however, Faivre says "well over half" of the original funds are still available. The federal government's deadline to use the funds is in 2026.

"Technically we still have over three whole calendar years to use the funds," added Faivre.

The city is encouraging any small business that's experienced damage, which is identified as having "no more than 40 full-time equivalent employees as of March 1st, 2020," to apply for the funds.

The Storefront Repair Grant was brought up by multiple users of social media following a break-in that occurred at Organ Mountain Outfitters' storefront in downtown Las Cruces that took place on Easter Sunday.

The store's owner, Chris Lang, tells ABC-7 it was the fifth overall break-in they've had to deal with.

Noticeable damage to the storefront's glass windows were observed by ABC-7 crews on Monday, and Lang said the store suffered around $2,500 dollars in damages and stolen property.

Lang tells ABC-7 that the city reached out to him today regarding the Storefront Repair Grant, and he says he was surprised that it exists.

"It's hopeful because it's in that quick, $2,500 range, a lot of times when [break-ins] happen, so I really appreciate the option," says Lang.

Article Topic Follows: New Mexico

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Jason McNabb

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