During Utah Legislature’s 6th special session held on Aug. 20, 2020, most of the active COVID-19 response programs managed by the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) were updated.

GOED suspended applications for its programs while its processes are adjusted to accommodate the Legislature’s requests. The programs will re-open as adjustments are completed. Additional information will be shared in the coming days and weeks regarding accepting new applications.

“We express appreciation to the dedicated Utah legislators who spent time and energy focusing on GOED programs and initiatives that will help sustain Utah businesses and Utahns,” said Val Hale, GOED’s executive director. “Our entire team is working diligently to ensure Utah’s robust, diverse economy weathers this storm as it has past storms and maintains its ‘America’s best economy’ status. Every day, we’re mindful of the businesses in the state that need our help.”

Below are summaries of ongoing programs, which use allocated federal CARES Act funds, and descriptions of adjustments.

ComRent Updates

The program known as ComRent’s official legislative title is the COVID-19 Commercial Rental Assistance Program. The program’s criteria are outlined in S.B. 3006, S.B. 5005 and S.B. 6009

The program initially had $40 million in commercial property rental assistance to provide relief grants to Utah small businesses. This month, the Legislature reduced the available funds in this program to $30 million. To date, GOED has disbursed $13.7 million of this fund to eligible entities, including nonprofits, sole proprietors, independent contractors, and self-employed individuals.

Other Adjustments

  • Now includes mortgages for commercial property owned and operated by the business entity
  • Award increased from 2 months to 3 months of assistance
  • $5,000 maximum monthly award per location
  • Includes startup businesses that began operations after March 1, 2020, if a net operating loss during the pandemic can be demonstrated
  • Employee maximum increased from 100 full-time employees (FTEs) to 250 FTEs

Additional information and instructions for entities that have already applied, as well as criteria and guidelines for new applications, is forthcoming. Learn more about the COVID-19 Commercial Rental Assistance Program here. Future applications will be accepted at the same URL. Please email rentalgrant@utah.gov with questions about this program.

Shop In Utah Updates

The program nicknamed Shop In Utah and called the COVID-19 Impacted Businesses Grant Program by the Legislature, is outlined in H.B. 5010 and S.B. 6009

The Legislature initially appropriated $25 million in federal CARES Act funds for this program. This month, it received an additional $20 million, and the Legislature authorized $10 million of its initial ComRent appropriation for this popular program, bringing the total program amount to $55 million.

To date, GOED has disbursed $31 million in Shop In Utah grants and has an additional $6 million in grant applications it’s reviewing, leaving approximately $20 million available. To qualify for the Shop In Utah grant, an organization must be negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and offer a discount of 50% of its grant amount to customers.

Other Adjustments

  • Award amount now has three tiers:
  • Revenue decline of 50% or more: Grant is up to 75% of revenue decline
  • Revenue decline of at least 25% and less than 50%: Grant is up to 50% of revenue decline
  • Revenue decline under 25%: Grant is up to 25% of revenue decline

The previous Shop In Utah recipients are not retroactively subject to the three new grant tiers. New applications will need to be submitted for additional funds, if applicable, with grant tier levels placed on new funding amounts.

Additional information and instructions for entities that have already applied and new applications are forthcoming. Learn more about the COVID-19 Impacted Businesses Grant Program here. Applications will be accepted at the same URL. Any questions about this program should be directed to shopinutah@utah.gov.

Safe In Utah Updates

The Legislature’s COVID-19 PPE Support Grant Program, known as Safe In Utah, is outlined in H.B. 5010 and S.B. 6009.

The program is funded with $5 million in federal CARES Act monies. No additional funding was added to the program this month. To date, GOED has disbursed $1.1 million.

The program’s per-employee grant cap was raised from $100 to $250 per full-time employee, or a business entity can receive funds for their actual or anticipated expenses. Award eligibility is the lesser of the two funding options.

Additional information and instructions for entities that have already applied and new applications are forthcoming. Learn more about the COVID-19 PPE Support Grant Program here. Applications will be accepted at the same URL. Any questions about this program should be directed to safeinutah@utah.gov.

Learn & Work In Utah Updates

The Legislature’s COVID-19 Displaced Worker Grant Program, known as Learn & Work In Utah, is outlined in H.B. 5010 and S.B. 6009

Managed jointly by Talent Ready Utah within GOED and the Utah System of Higher Education (USHE), the grant program initially received $9 million in federal CARES Act funding. This month, it received an additional $7.5 million.

Learn & Work In Utah provides workers with new skills through affordable and flexible short-term programs to connect them with rewarding careers in a variety of online, in-person, and hybrid formats at colleges and universities throughout the state.

To date, Talent Ready Utah and USHE have disbursed $9 million to technical colleges and higher education institutions for the training of Utah’s unemployed, underemployed, and vulnerable workers. Because of the initial popularity of this program, additional applications will not be accepted. Talent Ready Utah and USHE will contact previous applicants currently on the waitlist for funding to disburse additional funds assigned to the program this month.

Learn more about the COVID-19 Displaced Worker Grant Program here. Any questions about this program should be directed to kcarlile@utah.gov.

Oil, Gas and Mining Grant

To help support Utah’s energy businesses, GOED received a grant allocation of $5 million for the state’s new Oil, Gas and Mining Grant program. Companies that have incurred expenses or are operating at a net loss due to the public health emergency related to COVID-19 are eligible to participate in this new grant program.

GOED will collaborate with the Governor’s Office of Energy Development to establish a method for fund eligibility and grant distribution. Applications for this grant will be opened on Sept. 15, 2020. Additional information and instructions for applicants are forthcoming.


All of GOED’s COVID-19 programs are outlined on its coronavirus webpage.

The Legislature also made updates to the COVID-19 Cultural Assistance grant program (known as Create In Utah), managed by the Department of Heritage & Arts, the COVID-19 Agricultural Operations grant program, managed by The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food, and the COVID-19 Residential Housing Assistance program, managed by the Department of Workforce Services.