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Wheat Ridge business owner describes impact of city grant to help small businesses stay afloat

Posted at 8:51 AM, May 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-05 10:51:14-04

WHEAT RIDGE, Colo. — Cities on the Front Range of Colorado are digging deep into their pocketbooks to try and support small businesses. Several cities, like Wheat Ridge, are offering grant programs that business owners can apply for to help even more.

Suzanne Smith is the owner of Food For Thought Catering in Wheat Ridge. Her kitchen is tucked in the back of a shopping center off Wadsworth Boulevard. She mostly caters events in retirement communities that have been shut down to the public due to COVID-19.

"I'd say our business is down about 90%," Smith said. "Right now, I'm on hold here. I’d like that PPP loan to come through because you can pay your rent with it, you can pay your employees and you can pay your utilities with it."

Smith also applied for a grant from the city of Wheat Ridge. She was awarded $5,000.

"I said, 'Thank you, thank you, thank you,'" Smith said. "That will at least keep us going for another month or two."

The money was made possible through the Wheat Ridge Small Business Stabilization Program.

"City council made a decision to obligate $250,000 of its general fund to help support these small businesses," said Wheat Ridge Economic Development Director Steve Art. "We’re working every day within City Hall to try and devise ways to make sure that our businesses stay open."

Smith is staying positive as she looks ahead to a new normal.

"I'm not going anywhere," Smith said with a smile. "Hopefully people will come back or just give us a try if they haven't already."

Wheat Ridge City Council is looking at possibly sending out another round of funding to small businesses in the near future.