Small businesses in Nevada will soon be eligible to apply for grants of up to $10,000 through the Office of Economic Development.
Assembly Bill 106 was introduced in the Nevada Legislature on Tuesday, passed by the Assembly Wednesday and passed by the Senate on Thursday morning. It’s now headed to Governor Steve Sisolak for final approval, after which a total of $50 million in additional funding will be available through the state’s Pandemic Emergency Technical Support (PETS) program.
Gov. Sisolak called on legislators to approve the funding in January during his State of the State address.
Nevada small businesses continue to confront ongoing economic challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, and this piece of legislation is one among many that have been priorities for Sisolak and legislative Democrats as they look for ways to continue the state’s economic recovery. The bill passed unanimously in both the Senate and the Assembly, with one legislator absent.
“Nevada has never confronted a crisis on the scale of COVID-19, and it is critical that we help our small businesses weather the economic fallout of this pandemic,” said Senate Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro in a statement about the bills passage. “Keeping small businesses operating safely is key to Nevada’s economic recovery, and these grants will help ensure that thousands of businesses can come back stronger once this crisis is behind us.”
Senator Chris Brooks, Chair of the Senate Finance Committee, said, “Providing a lifeline to Nevadans who are struggling through the fallout of this pandemic is our highest priority. Just two weeks into session, we have already passed more than $680 million in aid to Nevada families and businesses, including the $50 million in assistance to small businesses that passed through the Senate this morning. These dollars will help to ensure that we are keeping people in their homes, getting kids back to school safely, and helping small businesses keep their lights on.”
The funds will need to be granted to businesses on or before June 7, at which time the Office of Economic Development will need to report to the Interim Finance Committee who received money and how much. Businesses will need to have appropriated the grant funds they receive by Sept. 17. Any money not awarded by June 7 or spent by Sept. 17 will be reverted back to the state’s General Fund.
In October 2020, so many Nevada businesses applied for a round of PETS grants that the deadline for applications was shortened by nearly two weeks, and the pot of funds was doubled from $20 million to $40 million.
Technical problems encountered during the application process left many business owners frustrated during that round of grant funding.
This new allocation of funds will be granted first to applicants from the October submission period who were denied grants due to lack of funding, and also to those who are awaiting grant awards.