Aurora approves $65 million in ARPA grants

David Heitz

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Aurora City Hall.City of Aurora

By David Heitz / NewsBreak Denver

(Aurora, Colo.) The Aurora City Council approved Monday $65 million in American Rescue Plan Act grants.

The city received $65 million from the federal government but agreed to add to the budget to award more grants.

Aurora will distribute grants to 320 small businesses. The council agreed to add $700,000 to the program to fund all qualifying applicants. Of 77 grants already disbursed, $520,000 has been spent. Minority-owned businesses received 62 percent of the money and 38 percent went to female-owned businesses.

Of the businesses receiving grants, 225 established business in the city before the pandemic and 50 started up after the pandemic.

To qualify for the money, the business had to have less than $5 million in annual sales in 2021 and a net revenue of less than $350,000. They had to show how the pandemic impacted the business and how it is recovering.

Non-profits collect $5.2 million

The city also approved $5.2 million in grants to non-profits. Those receiving money include:

Aurora Public Schools Foundation,$25,000

Rocky Mountain Welcome Center, $10,000

Caring Voices, $32,630

Colorado Alliance for Health Equity and Practice, $50,000

Mi Casa Resource Center, $152,905

RISE Colorado, $175,000

East Colfax Community Collective, $313,598

Rocky Mountain Youth Medical and Nursing Consultants LLC, $75,000

A Little Help, $85,000

New American College, $10,000

Brothers Redevelopment Inc, $30,000

Mosaic Unlimited, $188,300

Tigray-Ethiopia Community Association in Colorado, $250,000

African Chamber of Commerce Colorado USA, $75,000

Aurora Community Connection, $40,000

You Be You Early Learning, $85,000

Boys Hope Girls Hope of Colorado, $50,000.

Aurora Interchurch Task Force Inc., $200,000

Dedicated to Aurora Wellness and Needs, $227,567

Community Enterprise Development Services, $50,000

Downtown Aurora Visual Arts, $25,000

Issues of Life Church Ministries Aurora, $100,000

Metro Community Provider Network (STRIDE Community Health Center) $2.5 million

More than 100 additional non-profits will also receive money.

According to city staff, $672,000 went to non-profits in the Colfax Corridor. The council required at least $500,000 to go to Colfax non-profits.

Security grants expanded by $700,000

The city also will give out grants for security upgrades to businesses and nonprofits. The average grant will be $16,000. More than 400 businesses applied, with 76 not eligible.

Grants can be used for security cameras, bulletproof glass, alarm systems and more. The city added $700,000 to the budget so all qualifying businesses will receive grants.

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I've been in the news business 35 years, spending much of my career in editing roles at local newspapers in Los Angeles, Detroit, and the Quad-Cities of Illinois and Iowa. Upon moving to Denver in 2018, I began experiencing severe mental illness due to several traumatic experiences. I became homeless on the street for about a year before spending time in the state mental hospital. I am living proof that people can rebound from mental illness with proper treatment, even after experiencing homelessness. I consider myself a lucky guy to live in a great place like Denver. I hope my writing reflects the passion I have for living here.

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