New Updates to the State’s COVID-19 Commercial Rental Assistance Program

Pete CodellaNews, COVID-19

The Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) announced today, with the Legislature’s approval, that the Commercial Rental Assistance program has changed requirements a third time to adapt to business’s needs.

As part of S.B. 3006, S.B. 5005, and S.B. 6009, the COVID-19 Commercial Rental Assistance Program (ComRent) includes $30 million in commercial property assistance. GOED is currently administering the grants providing rental and now, newly added, mortgage relief to Utah small businesses that have lost revenue due to measures taken to minimize the public’s exposure to COVID-19. Small businesses are defined as having fewer than 250 full-time employees and can be a nonprofit, sole proprietor, independent contractor, or self-employed individual.

Approximately $15 million of the funds have been expended on versions 1 and 2, leaving roughly $15 million for version 3.

Program Metrics

Full applications submitted: 1,630
Grant funds used: $14,316,023
Average check: $8,783
Most requested sectors: Retail, food and beverage, healthcare

Since the program launch, GOED has communicated and worked with various stakeholders from rural counties, multicultural partners, and commercial real estate sectors. The agency coordinated with the Legislature to update the program. Changes were made to better meet Utah’s small businesses’ needs during the Utah Legislature’s 6th special session held Aug. 20, 2020.

The following is a list of changes approved by the Legislature:

  • Modified to include mortgages
  • Award increased from two months to three months
  • $5,000 maximum monthly award per location
  • Includes start-up business that began operating after March 1, 2020, and can demonstrate a net operating loss
  • Employee maximum increased from 100 full-time employees to 250 FTEs

“We hope these new changes will help businesses receive the money they need to help assist them during this COVID-19 pandemic,” said Val Hale, GOED’s executive director. “This is a great opportunity for businesses to take advantage of these federal CARES Act funds, and we hope that all who qualify will apply for assistance.”

Companies will have to reapply to receive additional funds. The new ComRent version 3 application will go live Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020, at 9 a.m. (MDT). To learn more about the state’s COVID-19 Commercial Rental Assistance Program, visit Applications for commercial rental assistance are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis while funds are available.