On Sept. 14, 2020, at 9 a.m., the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) will open a new round of funding for the COVID-19 Impacted Businesses Grant Program, known as ‘Shop In Utah.’ Businesses interested in the popular program can apply for a grant if they agree to give customers 50% of the total grant amount.

In its August special session, the Legislature authorized more money for the popular grant program to help Utah businesses stay afloat and encourage consumers to engage in economic reactivation.

As part of H.B. 5010 and S.B. 6009, this $55 million initiative, funded with federal CARES Act monies, provides grants to businesses negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Companies must give a discount, coupon, or another offer with an estimated value to their customers of at least 50% of the grant amount to qualify for the program. The Legislature created three grant tiers, providing more assistance for companies most impacted by the pandemic.

GOED has already awarded $31 million in Shop In Utah grants, leaving around $24 million for round two. Applications will be accepted again on Sept. 14, 2020, at 9 a.m. (MDT) on a first-come, first-served basis while funds are available. Businesses eligible for funding based on changes during the 6th special session will need to submit a new application. Companies can learn more and apply at utahgoed.info/shop-in-utah.

“We’re amazed at the success Shop In Utah has had, and thank the Legislature for allocating additional funds to help Utah businesses in need,” said Val Hale, GOED’s executive director. “With this additional funding, more businesses will be able to take advantage of this great opportunity.”

To be eligible for Shop In Utah, businesses must:

  • Offer a discount or other financial incentive with an estimated value to customers of at least 50% of the grant amount
  • Have experienced a revenue decline related to COVID-19
  • Have employees physically located in Utah
  • Have fewer than 250 full-time equivalent employees
  • Establish that the use of funds will benefit the state’s economy

New Shop In Utah grant amounts will be awarded based on:

  • Revenue decline of 50% or more: the lesser of 75% of revenue decline or $150,000 
  • Revenue decline of at least 25% and below 50%: the lesser of 50% of revenue decline or $100,000
  • Revenue decline under 25%: the lesser of 25% of revenue decline or $50,000

If a business has already received a Shop in Utah grant, the previous award amount will be deducted from the updated, three-tiered award calculation.

A business owner could look at lost revenues and develop an appropriate Shop In Utah customer discount. For example, if a qualifying Utah business lost $30,000 in revenue since the coronavirus pandemic began, it could create a discount or promotion worth a total of $15,000 in savings to its customers to claim a Shop In Utah grant worth $30,000.

Shop In Utah customer discounts can take many forms. By way of illustration, here are a few examples:

  • A retailer offers a buy-one-get-one deal, giving customers a discount of up to $5,000 combined by month’s end; Shop In Utah grant amount is $10,000
  • A manufacturer offers customers a 20% discount for two weeks, committing to $25,000 off retail pricing; Shop In Utah grant amount is $50,000
  • A hotel offers 50% off bookings in November, up to $50,000 off retail pricing; Shop In Utah grant amount is $100,000

Additional examples are available at utahgoed.info/shop-in-utah.

For a complete list of requirements, necessary documentation, and instructions, visit utahgoed.info/shop-in-utah. Business owners may email shopinutah@utah.gov or chat with an expert online with Shop In Utah inquiries or questions.