Utah small businesses that rent commercial property may receive pandemic relief from the Legislature. Today, following a legislative special session and appropriation, the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) announces the COVID-19 Commercial Rental Assistance Program.

As part of S.B. 3006, the COVID-19 Commercial Rental Assistance Program includes $40 million in commercial property rental assistance. GOED will administer the grants providing rental relief to Utah small businesses — including nonprofits, sole proprietors, independent contractors and those that are self-employed — that have lost revenue as a result of measures taken to minimize the public’s exposure to COVID-19.

“The COVID-19 Commercial Rental Assistance Program will help many of Utah’s commercial property leasees in need of financial help because of the coronavirus pandemic,” said Val Hale, GOED’s executive director. “We thank the Legislature for allocating $40 million in federal CARES Act funds to the program and hope the grants that are distributed will help Utah small businesses get back on their feet as quickly as possible.”

The COVID-19 Commercial Rental Assistance Program was created on April 30, 2020, when Gov. Herbert signed S.B. 3006. Since then, GOED has worked to compile grant information, eligibility, required documentation, and to prepare an online application process.

To be eligible for the Commercial Rental Assistance Program, applicants must:

  • Have a current lease on commercial property in the state of Utah
  • Claim Utah as their principal place of business
  • Be in operation with fewer than 100 employees on Feb. 15, 2020
  • Demonstrate at least a 50% loss of gross monthly revenue after March 1, 2020, as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Not received funds from the COVID-19 Agricultural Operations Grant Program (funded with federal CARES Act monies)

An applicant determined to meet eligibility requirements will receive an amount, not to exceed $10,000, between 25% and 100% of a single month of its business lease amount. The percentage will be based on a formula that takes into account the company’s loss of gross revenue and whether the company received funds from the CARES Act Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) managed by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

For applicants that did not receive PPP funds, grant amounts will be the lowest of 1) $10,000, or 2) 100% of monthly rent with a monthly gross revenue loss of 71% or more, or 3) 50% of monthly rent with a monthly gross revenue loss between 50% and 70%.

For applicants that did receive PPP funds, grant amounts will be the lowest of 1) $5,000, or 2) 50% of monthly rent with a monthly gross revenue loss of 71% or more, or 3) 25% of monthly rent with a monthly gross revenue loss between 50% and 70%.

Qualifying businesses and nonprofits may apply here beginning May 11, 2020, at 9 a.m. Completed applications are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. The application process will remain open until all grant funds are used. A request for a grant is not a guarantee of funding.

To prepare for submitting applications on May 11, grant eligibility and required documentation are available here. GOED will begin mailing grant checks on May 15.

Please direct questions about the COVID-19 Commercial Rental Assistance Program to the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development at rentalgrant@utah.gov.