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SMALL BUSINESS RECOVERY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
APPLICATION PORTAL ACCESS

new applicant link returning applicants
Application Portal for local small businesses seeking COVID-19 financial hardship assistance, technical assistance, and deferred investment assistance for costs resulting from the COVID-19 public health emergency and its economic impacts. For applicants who have already registered and begun, completed or wish to begin another application for the Los Alamos County Small Business Recovery Assistance Program


Note - This page was revised on 9/30/2022 to include expanded and additional Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's).

Programs.

County Council has allocated $2,000,000 of the ARPA funds it received to its Small Business Recovery Assistance Program. These funds must be distributed before the end of 2025, and must be used in accordance with the eligibility standards established by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of 2021. The County's Small Business Recovery Assistance Program makes available three (3) forms of financial assistance types to eligible local small businesses:

  • COVID-19 Financial Hardship Assistance. Reimbursement of up to $25,000 for past expenses, post-March 3, 2021, or recent expenses directly addressing the negative economic impacts caused by COVID-19. This category addresses issues similar to those addressed by grants funded by the 2021 CARES act. Eligible expenses may include reimbursement of operating expenses, payroll, permitting, business equipment purchases, business mortgage obligations, business rent, lease payments, surveillance and security improvements, utility expenditures, and other operating expenditures.
  • Technical Assistance. Reimbursement of up to $10,000 for Design Services Consultation, post-March 3, 2021, or deferred due to the negative impacts caused by COVID-19. This category supports business owner planning and development costs for projects that were conducted to specifically address issues raised by COVID-19 or deferred due to the negative economic impact caused by COVID-19.
  • Deferred Investment Assistance. Reimbursement of up to $100,000 for expenses made after March 3, 2021, that had been deferred due to the negative impacts caused by COVID-19, and aid in the business’s recovery, or the business sector’s recovery from the negative impacts caused by COVID-19. Eligible expenses may include reimbursement for improvements addressing code compliance, energy efficiency, and modifications made to address health safety issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Eligibility.

Who can apply? The Applicant/Business owner must demonstrate their business meets the following criteria to be determined eligible for the Small Business Recovery Assistance Program:

  • The subject business experienced negative economic impacts of the pandemic, including decreased revenue or gross receipts, financial insecurity, increased costs, capacity to weather financial hardship, and challenges covering payroll, rent, mortgage, or other operating costs and/or:

  • The subject business operates in a pre-defined impacted industry; or
  • The subject business experienced an 8% decrease in employment compared to pre-pandemic levels.
  • The subject business employs no more than fifty (50) local employees (two part-time employees count as one full-time employee).

  • The subject business is located within Los Alamos County. If the subject business is located in multiple locations, in and out of the County, only the local portion of the business located in Los Alamos County will be considered eligible for this program.
  • The subject business is a for-profit Businesses.
  • The subject business is a non-profit Businesses, having a 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(19) tax-exempt designation.
  • The subject business has a current local and state-required business license.
  • Note - Businesses selling, producing, manufacturing, or distributing marijuana or cannabis products are not eligible for the grant program.

Required Documents.

Applicants will be required to substantiate the negative economic impacts of the pandemic on their business in order to be eligible to receive Small Business Recovery Assistance Program funds. Some of the documentation that may be requested include, but are not limited to the following:

  • IRS Form 990
  • Profit & Loss and/or Audited Financial Statements
  • Federal Tax Returns and 941 Filings
  • Business Registration/Articles of Incorporation
  • Invoices and receipts/proof-of-payment for reimbursement
  • Additional documents may be provided or be requested to confirm eligibility.

While these documents may not be required initially, applicants should be prepared and able to upload these documents when requested by the County.

How to Apply.

The County is utilizing its Los Alamos County Citizen Self-Service Portal to collect and accept Small Business Recovery Assistance grant requests. Small Business owners and their self-assigned designees will be able to complete their application, submit documents, and monitor the status of their requests all within the Portal.  Access to the Portal can be gained by visiting either of the links provided at the top of this page.

1.  Enter the Application Portal and create/login to your account.

  • New Applicants should use the link in the blue box. Please note that you may already have a set username and password, if you previously used the Citizen Self-Service Portal to apply for a county business license or building permit. In not, please create a new account by clicking guest and selecting register at the top right corner of the page.

Note - For those using a delegate or designee to apply for and manage your application, please be sure to ask them to create a separate account.

  • Returning Applicants should use the link in the orange box. If needed, log in to the Portal using the username and password used when you originally started or completed your application for the Small Business Recovery Assistance Program.

Select [Dashboard] to access your draft or check the status of your completed application(s).

2.  Start a new application. 

  • Click [Small Business Recovery Assistance Program (ARPA)] box located on the Welcome to Self Service page.

Note - You are welcome to click the [draft] button at the bottom right hand corner of the page to save your work for later. The Portal does not save your work unless you've marked it draft or submitted it for review.

  • Locations - Click [Add Location] and search for your business address. Once found, check box and click [apply]. Please - Do not manually enter your address. If needed, please contact 505-662-8120 for assistance finding your business address.

  • Type - Once your location is set, click the [Next] button at the bottom right corner of the page. Under permit details enter "Seeking Small Business Recovery Assistance", and click [Next].

  • Contacts - Click [Add Contact] and search/select your name as [Owner], and then again as [Permit Applicant]. If you plan to have a delegate or designee apply on your behalf, please add their contact information as [Permit Applicant]. Once complete, click [Next].
  • More Information/Eligibility - This section will help to determine your businesses eligibility for the Program. Don't worry - the County will reach out to you if we need more information or clarification needed to determine eligibility. Please enter the information as requested.

One of the last set of questions in the Eligibility section askes you to describe your staffing issues resulting from the negative economic impacts of the pandemic.  Your narrative could address issues such as: decreased revenue or gross receipts, financial Insecurity, increased costs, capacity to weather financial hardship, and challenges covering payroll, rent, mortgage, or other operating costs. It is important to provide detailed descriptions, noting any backup documentation you may have available to attach to your application. You will be given an opportunity to attached documents at the end of this application form.

  • More Information/COVID-19 Recovery - This is the first of the three (3) reimbursement categories being offered under the Small Business Recovery Assistance Program. You many apply for one, two or all three programs, Please note that reimbursement for an item can only be asked for once amongst all three (3) types.

The COVID-19 Recovery Assistance category provides Reimbursement of up to $25,000 for past expenses, post-March 3, 2021, or recent expenses directly addressing the negative economic impacts caused by COVID-19. This category is similar to the issues addressed by the CARES act grants offered in 2021. Eligible expenses may include reimbursement of operating expenses, payroll, permitting, business equipment purchases, business mortgage obligations, business rent, lease payments, surveillance and security improvements, utility expenditures, and other operating expenditures.

Select from the dropdown box whether not you will be applying for COVID-19 Recovery Assistance.

If "No", please move to the next program below: Technical Assistance.

If "Yes", please begin answering the remaining questions in the section: $$ amount requested; the date you anticipate spending the funds (this date will be used to determine when your ability to seek reimbursement will expire); and an explanation of expenses. In your explanation, please be sure explain the reason for the expense, as well the cost for the expense. Requests for previous expenses, as early as March 3, 2021, may be considered eligible for reimbursement under this category.

  • More Information/Technical Assistance - This is the second of the three (3) reimbursement categories being offered under the Small Business Recovery Assistance Program.

The Technical Assistance category provides reimbursement of up to $10,000 for Design Services Consultation previously deferred due to the negative impacts caused by COVID-19. This category supports business owner planning and development costs for projects that were conducted to specifically address issues raised by COVID-19 or deferred due to the negative economic impact caused by COVID-19.

Select from the dropdown box whether not you will be applying for Technical Assistance.

If "No", please move to the next program below: Deferred Investment Assistance.

If "Yes", please begin answering the remaining questions in the section: $$ amount requested; the date you anticipate spending the funds (this date will be used to determine when your ability to seek reimbursement will expire); and an explanation of expenses (seeing consultation from an architect to develop renovation or expansion plans).

  • More Information/Deferred Investment Assistance - This is the last of the three (3) reimbursement categories being offered under the Small Business Recovery Assistance Program.

The Deferred Investment Assistance category provides Reimbursement of up to $100,000 for expenses made after March 3, 2021, that had been deferred due to the negative impacts caused by COVID-19, and aid in the business’s recovery, or the business sector’s recovery from the negative impacts caused by COVID-19. Eligible expenses may include reimbursement for improvements addressing code compliance, energy efficiency, and modifications made to address health safety issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Select from the dropdown box whether not you will be applying for Technical Assistance.

If "No", please move to the next section. Certification.

If "Yes", please begin answering the remaining questions in the section: $$ amount requested; the date you anticipate spending the funds (this date will be used to determine when your ability to seek reimbursement will expire); and an explanation of expenses (seeing consultation from an architect to develop renovation or expansion plans.) In your explanation, please be sure explain what you plan to accomplish with this project, how you plan to accomplish it, how you plan to use the funds, who is responsible for administering  or providing these services, what is project schedule and key milestones/dates, and how this work  addresses impacts of COVID-19 and your business's recovery.  Requests for previous expenses, as early as March 3, 2021, may be considered eligible for reimbursement under this category.

  • Certification - Please read the certification information carefully before entering in your Legal Name (First and Last Name). Once complete, click the [Next] button at the bottom right hand corner of the page.

3.  Attachments.

This is the section in the application that gives you the opportunity to share documentation supporting your request for funding. Please click the blue box, or drag files into the blue box. It is important to note that you will be able to return later to add other needed/requested documents or receipts. Once complete, click the [Next] button at the bottom right hand corner of the page.

4.  Review and Submit.

Please review your application and click [submit] when you feel your application is ready for consideration by the County. As noted before, the County will reach out to you if we need more information or clarification needed to determine eligibility.

Program Contacts.

The following is a list of partners who are available to assist business owners in the process of preparing and completing their application for Small Business Recovery Assistance Program funding:

Sandra Jones, Center Director
Small Business Development Center
[email protected]
(505) 662-0337 (o)

Ryn Hermann, Director
Chamber of Commerce
[email protected]
(505) 661-4816 (o)

Lauren McDaniel, Executive Director
Los Alamos Commerce and Development Corporation
[email protected]
550-661-4854 (o)

Victoria Pacheco, Management Analyst
LAC Community Development Department - ED Division
[email protected]
505-663-3483 (o)


Frequently Asked Questions.

  • What is the start-date date for eligible expenses? As established by ARPA, only expenses made after March 3, 2021 are eligible for reimbursement. Expenditures prior to March 3, 2021 were eligible for CARES Act funding consideration, a program that has since closed. 
  • Are Small Business Recovery Assistance Program grants considered taxable income? Unfortunately, the County cannot provide tax or legal advice. Please get in touch with your accountant or attorney for this service. The County will issue 1099 type G reports for grant recipients on a calendar year basis per IRS reporting deadlines. A link to review IRS guidelines is provided here: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/frequently-asked-questions-for-states-and-local-governments-on-taxability-and-reporting-of-payments-from-coronavirus-state-and-local-fiscal-recovery-funds.
  • How often can a business apply? There is no limit to the number of times a business can apply, however, to streamline the application and appropriations process, applicants are encouraged to consider all applicable reimbursements in one application. Funding will be capped at the program caps per recipient. Grants will be available until the funding program has been depleted or December 1, 2024, whichever occurs first.  
  • Can a business submit a quote for reimbursement, rather than a payment receipt or invoice? These are reimbursement programs; proof of expensed funds will be required in order to receive reimbursement. Proof of payment along with the invoice/receipt will need to be submitted.  If applying for deferred investment categories, please follow all the steps to provide documentation of the planned expense, and then you will be required to submit proof of expense for reimbursement by the established deadline outlined in your grant award, if your application is approved.
  • Can a business apply for multiple categories? Yes - the grant categories were designed to be "stacked." With that in mind, reimbursements can only be applied to an expense once.
  • Will purchases by credit card and interest accrued be eligible for reimbursement? 1) Payments by a credit card:  If the business can prove the credit card bill was paid and provide the underlying detail/itemized receipt, and if that itemized receipt supports an eligible expenditure, that could be okay.  2) Interest:  Payments of interest or principal on outstanding debt instruments; fees or issuances costs associated with new debt are not eligible.
  • What if I am not registered with the Secretary of State? If you have not registered your business with the NM Secretary of State, please follow this link do so (All Corporation, LLC, and Partnership business types need to be registered in order to provide grant awards – this is not applicable if you are a sole-proprietor): https://www.sos.state.nm.us/business-services/start-a-business/
  • What if I don’t know my industry type? If you do not know your industry type, it is important that you contact NM Taxation and Revenue Dept. to review what NAICS industry category you file your NM Gross Receipts Taxes under.  This does impact eligibility determination, so please do your best to indicate what industry type your company falls under.  If “Other” please describe the nature of your business and know that follow up information may be necessary to ascertain your negative economic impact of the pandemic.
  • Do I have to have a Los Alamos County business license to apply for an ARPA grant? Yes. All applicants must have an active business license with Los Alamos County. Be sure to check the status of your business license to ensure that it is accurate and up to date

  • What if I am not registered with the Secretary of State? If you have not registered your business with the NM Secretary of State, please follow this link do so (All Corporation, LLC, and Partnership business types must be registered in order to provide grant awards – this is not applicable if you are a sole-proprietor): https://www.sos.state.nm.us/business-services/start-a-business/.
  • What if I don’t know my industry type? If you do not know your industry type, it is important that you contact NM Taxation and Revenue Dept. to review what NAICS industry category you file your NM Gross Receipts Taxes under.  This does impact eligibility determination, so please do your best to indicate what industry type your company falls under.  If “Other” please describe the nature of your business and know that follow-up information may be necessary to ascertain the negative economic impact of the pandemic.
  • What types of expenses are eligible for ARPA reimbursement? The three categories eligible for reimbursement under the ARPA program are: Financial Hardship, Technical, and Deferred Investment.
  1. For All Applications: Check ARPA Guidelines to ensure your submittal meets eligibility requirements.

  2. Financial Hardship: For quantified revenues lost or unanticipated costs incurred since March 3, 2021, due to COVID closures and restrictions. EXAMPLES: decreased revenues; staff layoffs; unanticipated projects and/or permit costs associated with meeting COVID-Safe Protocols required by the County, State Department of Health, CDC; etc.
  3. Technical Assistance: Professional services, e.g.—architectural, design, engineering, accounting, marketing—needed in the future to assist your business in adapting to changed expectations of the marketplace, post-pandemic. EXAMPLES: design/production services for new signage; accounting services to add take-out/delivery services; architectural, planning and/or engineering services to support renovation or construction projects (see Deferred Investment below); etc.

  4. Deferred Investment: A pending project that was planned prior to March 3, 2021, that has been deferred due to COVID impacts/restrictions OR a new, proposed project designed to increase visibility, adapt to the post-pandemic way of doing business, or to otherwise recover lost revenues sustained since March 3, 2021. EXAMPLES: development and installation of a new system to accommodate new takeout or delivery service now expected by customers since COVID; fabrication/installation of new signage; construction or renovation projects to update

    NOTE: Technical Assistance and Deferred Investment grants require a contract that details scope, deliverables, costs, and deadline for when all work must be completed. Reimbursements are distributed upon completion of work, on time, and on budget.
  • What documents are required to prove eligibility per ARPA requirements?
  1. For All Applications, write a complete “Explanation of Expenses” – a detailed accounting of how COVID impacted your business between March 3, 2021, to present. Provide context for the records and receipts you submit (see examples below).
  2. For Financial Hardship grants, provide records and/or receipts that demonstrate financial hardship compared to pre-COVID years and projections, e.g., receipts for rent or utilities paid, payroll records, income tax statements and budget reports.
  3. For Technical Assistance & Deferred Investment grants, provide a project need statement, a detailed description, a cost estimated and a defined timeframe within which the project will be completed.
  • Is there a word limit on the “Explanation of Expenses” section? The default world limit for this section is 2,000 characters because the application is supported by the Community Development Department’s Citizen Self Service Portal—the same system used for processing permits and licenses. HOWEVER, since this section of the application is one of the most important, you may attach a typed document (MS Word or PDF) of any length to tell your story (there is no limit on attachments). Write “’Explanation of Expenses attached as a separate document.” on the application.
  • Can a business submit a quote for reimbursement, rather than a payment receipt or invoice? These are reimbursement programs; proof of expensed funds will be required in order to receive reimbursement. Proof of payment along with the invoice/receipt will need to be submitted.  If applying for deferred investment categories, please follow all the steps to provide documentation of the planned expense, and then you will be required to submit proof of expense for reimbursement by the established deadline outlined in your grant award if your application is approved.

  • How does the process work? Each application is handled in the order received. The application must be deemed complete before it is reviewed for eligibility. Victoria Pacheco, Management Analyst with the County’s Economic Development Division [email protected] will be your point of contact throughout the process.
  1. Step 1: Review for Completeness. Grant application is reviewed for completeness. If any required sections or attachments are missing or incomplete, Victoria will reach out to the applicant, by phone or email, to explain what needs to be provided. The ARPA website dashboard will show that the application is “Denied” until all information and documents are uploaded. To keep your application moving in the system, it is recommended to email Victoria (email above) to let her know when the application is resubmitted with the requested information to trigger a new completeness review.

  2. Step 2: Preliminary Review for Eligibility. Once the application is deemed complete, Victoria reviews it to ensure it meets the ARPA eligibility requirements, engaging with the applicant as needed, then submitting the application with an assessment to the Los Alamos Small Business Assistance Program Team for approval.

  3. Step 3: Final Approval. County Finance Division will audit the application to ensure it complies with all ARPA requirements and may engage the applicant to clarify or obtain information, then sends the application to the County Manager for final review and approval.

  4. Step 4: Notification of Application Approval. Victoria will contact grantee, by phone or email, to confirm approval/denial of application(s) and will update the portal accordingly.

  5. Step 5: Grant Agreement and P.O. Notification. Following notification, Victoria will send a grant agreement defining the terms, funding, and timeline for funding disbursement/reimbursement, depending upon the type of grant. Grantee may be engaged throughout process as needed. Once grant agreement is signed by grantee and County Manager, Victoria will set up a purchase order in the system for the total amount granted, then notify the grantee (1) when to expect direct reimbursement for Financial Hardship funds or (2) to begin work on technical assistance and/or deferred investment projects, submitting receipts for payment on completion of project phases as outlined in the grant agreement.

NOTE: The more complete/eligible the application, the faster it will proceed through the process. To date, all applications received were initially denied due to incompleteness. To view your application, please visit https://losalamoscountynm-energovpub.tylerhost.net/Apps/SelfService#/dashboard. Work with Lauren McDaniel and Ryn Herrmann with LACDC and Sandy Jones with the Small Business Development Center, UNM-Los Alamos to ensure your application is complete and meets ARPA eligibility requirements before submitting it.

  • What happens if I don’t spend all my grant money? If grantee does not spend the full amount in the timeframe specified in the grant agreement, the balance of funds will be returned to the County’s master ARPA fund account for redistribution to a new applicant.

 Do you have another question? Email us [here].

 

About.

Small Business Recovery Assistance Program. Small businesses in Los Alamos County have faced widespread challenges due to the pandemic, including shutdown periods, revenue declines, or increased costs. In response to the pandemic health emergency, many of the County’s small business community regular patrons, including those working at our schools, local government, and the Los Alamos National Lab, were required to work remotely from their homes to prevent the further spread of the COVID-19 virus. In addition, small businesses had to address staffing, supply chain, and increased business expense issues resulting in unplanned expenses, loss of revenues, and deferred reinvestment in their own business. The Small Business Recovery Assistance Program is funded through the American Rescue Plan Act 

ARPA Act. As the country began to address the health emergency, the pandemic's negative economic impact raged. On March 11, 2021, the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of 2021 was passed [link]. Like the CARES Act, this $1.9 trillion package was also established to combat the negative public health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on individuals and the business community. COVID-19 pandemic. Unlike CARES, in addition to addressing the negative impacts resulting from or exacerbated by the health emergency, ARPA also was established to provide aid to tourism, travel, hospitality, and other impacted business, attractions, and established business districts; categories easily associated with many of the County’s small businesses.

The U.S. Department of Treasury set up the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (CSLFRF) to provide federal fiscal recovery aid for state and local governments. Amounts paid to states, the District of Columbia, U.S. Territories, and eligible units of local government are based on population as provided in the ARP Act. Of the $350 billion provided through CSLFRF, $65.1 billion will be distributed to counties based on the county share of the U.S. population. Based on Los Alamos County's population and its share of the U.S. population, the County was allocated $3,762,201, of which the Los Alamos County Council set aside $2 million for grant distribution to qualifying small businesses in the County.

County Program Preparation and Development. While County staff had initially hoped to start accepting applications in May 2022 to help our businesses to recover, we paused. Federally funded programs, where the rules are broad, and there are multiple reimbursement categories, require strong internal controls to assure compliance with regulations. ARPA rules have been challenging for all jurisdictions, and it is in everyone’s best interest to be sure we can comply with the multitude of compliance requirements.

In preparation for the Program, County staff reviewed the ARPA law, its related CSLFRF 447-page Final Rule, and supplementary documentation most recently release on July 22, 2022, and conducted focus groups with around fifty local business owners. All exercises were used to develop this Small Business Recovery Assistance Program and conducted to protect applicants.

The County-funded portal, utilizing none of the proceeds from the $2 million ARPA funds allocated to the County’s small business community, has been developed to facilitate the application process, utilizing online tools already owned and managed by the County. The portal streamlines tracking, eligibility review, and workflow approvals, provides the County tools to monitor compliance and helps automate recipient and sub-recipient monitoring and reporting requirements to maximize funding to the qualifying businesses.