Spanish Fork city officials unveiled a COVID-19 business relief program on Monday “designed to provide essential cleaning and protective supplies to businesses.”
Through the program, named the “SF-19 Business Relief Program,” the city and Spanish Fork Salem Area Chamber of Commerce will use federal CARES Act funding to purchase and distribute various cleaning supplies and protective equipment — disposable masks, hand sanitizer, disinfectant spray, nitrile gloves, vinyl gloves, forehead thermometers and cleaning wipes — to local businesses.
The program is open to any business “with a valid business license in Spanish Fork,” according to a Monday press release.
“As we thought about how to help our local businesses, this project came up,” Spanish Fork Community and Economic Development Director Dave Anderson said in the press release.
In July, Utah County officials launched a $15 million small business grant program administered by the Mountainland Association of Governments to provide grants of up to $20,000 for businesses with 100 or fewer full-time employees.
Though “several” Spanish Fork businesses participated in the county program, the application period for which ended on Aug. 10, Anderson said the city wanted to provide an additional relief opportunity for struggling businesses.
“We feel this idea can alleviate some of the financial burden even more of our businesses are facing by providing supplies to keep themselves and their customers safe,” the community and economic development director said.
Spanish Fork businesses can place an order by filling out an online form or by calling the Spanish Fork Salem Area Chamber of Commerce at (801) 804-4580 or emailing Spanish Fork Community Development Department Secretary Kim Brenneman at [email protected] Orders will be filled on a weekly basis and can be picked up at the chamber offices at 67 E. 100 North.
The business relief program order form asks businesses how many boxes of 50 masks, gallons of hand sanitizer, 32-ounce disinfectant spray bottles, forehead thermometers and other cleaning items they need for a two-week period.
The order form also notes that products “must be used to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and cannot be resold.”
Other Utah County cities have launched programs aimed at helping local small businesses that have been impacted by the pandemic.
On Sept. 1, Santaquin launched an economic stimulus program to support local businesses and families by giving all households four $10 coupons that can be used at participating businesses. The businesses can then return the coupons to the city for reimbursement.
More than 5.2 million coronavirus-related loans have been approved by the United States Small Business Administration since Aug. 8, which is when the most recent data is available. The average loan size has been $100,729, according to the SBA.
Connor Richards covers government, the environment and south Utah County for the Daily Herald. He can be reached at [email protected] and 801-344-2599.