The city of Reno has partnered with the Audacity Institute to launch a COVID-19 relief fund for women- and minority-owned businesses in Reno.
The Audacity Institute provides information and support to underserved communities in the area.
Applications for the fund opened on Sept 21 and will close Oct. 2, according to a news release from the city.
In order for a business to be eligible they must:
- Be at least 51% owned by minorities or women.
- Be located in the city of Reno.
- Have a current business license issued by the city.
In a separate news release, the Audacity Institute said the funds are meant for businesses with fewer than 20 employees and receive no more than $2 million in yearly revenue.
“Allocation of funding to awardees will be based on need, impact and available funding,” said Danielle Rees, the media contact for the Audacity Institute, in an email to the Reno Gazette Journal. “After the application period has closed, applications will be reviewed for eligibility and will be scored, ranked and awarded based on eligibility, need, COVID impact, and likelihood of business continuation.”
Rees said the organization will take into consideration whether the business got help from the U.S. Small Business Administration Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program, the Payroll Protection Program, or the city of Reno’s CARES general fund.”
Businesses who quality for funds can receive up to $20,000. Funds will be pulled from the Coronavirus Relief Fund through the CARES Act given to the city.
“On average, women and minority-owned businesses in Reno received fewer economic disaster assistance loans, and fewer dollars when assistance was granted,” Rees said. “As a result, it’s possible that Reno could see more of these women and minority-owned businesses closing in the coming months.”
Reno Councilman Oscar Delgado said the funds are a way to provide support admits the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’re excited to partner with the Audacity Institute on this timely and important relief program,” Delgado said in the release. “Providing funding, education and support to business owners from underserved populations is a core mission of the Audacity Institute, and that’s an effort we’re proud to support at the city of Reno. We know this has been a difficult stretch for many of our local businesses.”
For business looking to apply for funds, application will be available in English and Spanish and bilingual assistance can be provided at 775-470-7789.
According to the most up to date information from the U.S Census Bureau, in 2012 the bureau estimated over 6,500 firms were women-owned and over 3,500 firms were owned by a minority group in Reno.
Andrew Mendez is a student at the Reynolds School of Journalism and is a Fall 2020 intern reporter for the Reno Gazette Journal. You can support his work by contributing to the journalism school’s Dean’s Advisory Council fund.