Aurora, CO

Aurora may spend $4.5 million on business security program

David Heitz

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By David Heitz / NewsBreak Denver

(Aurora, Colo.) An Aurora program that offers small businesses grants for security upgrades may get a boost Monday.

The City Council previously committed $3 million for the program. The money comes from the American Rescue Plan Act or ARPA. Councilmember Curtis Gardner proposed adding another $1.5 million to the program due to high demand. The extra $1.5 million would come from an ARPA reserves fund. The program will run through June 23, 2023, on a first-come, first-served basis or until the money is spent.

Businesses, nonprofits and community groups may apply for grants between $10,000 and $20,000. As of May 19, the city received 270 applications. The city considers businesses small and eligible for the program if they have fewer than 500 employees.

"While applicant eligibility will still need to be determined, we anticipate the overwhelming majority will move forward in the process," according to a memo from city staff to council. "And while the rate of applications received has slowed, staff anticipates the number will grow gradually."

Colfax corridor will get $500,000

Businesses along the Colfax corridor between Yosemite Street and Peoria Avenue will get $500,000. For example, the city could give Mississippi and Chambers Road businesses money to replace large storefront windows with shatter-resistant glass at the cost of $18,000 to $20,000, according to city staff.

Businesses can use the grants to add lighting, alarms, cameras, windows, entrance doors and mirrors. The projects must allow law enforcement to "more efficiently and effectively respond to public safety issues."

The city must approve all work. Businesses must use local, city-approved contractors.

A media campaign using broadcast, print, social media, AuroraTV, website and other sources targets Aurora small businesses with alerts about the program.

"Staff are reaching out to key stakeholders to help spread the word among Aurora's small businesses, nonprofits, and community groups," according to a memo from city staff to council.

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I've been in the news business 35 years, spending much of my career at local newspapers. Today, I report on Denver and Aurora city halls for NewsBreak. Prior to joining NewsBreak, I worked several years as a health reporter and branded content writer in the healthcare space. I also worked many years as a news editor and city editor. I consider myself a lucky guy to live in a great place like Denver.

Denver, CO
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