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State puts $31M toward small business grants

A state program that provides COVID-19 relief funds to small businesses and nonprofits got another funding boost Tuesday.

The Board of Examiners, a panel comprised of Gov. Steve Sisolak, Attorney General Aaron Ford and Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske, on Tuesday approved putting an additional $31 million in federal COVID-19 relief funds into Pandemic Emergency Technical Support Grant, bringing the total funding to $51 million that is available to eligible small businesses and nonprofits. The governor’s office had previously announced $20 million of those additional funds.

The program uses funds from the federal relief dollars under the CARES Act that and is administered through the state treasurer’s office, the Governor’s Office of Economic Development and Department of Business and Industry. Nevada received about $836 million from the CARES Act, which was passed in March.

The state has approved about $30 million worth of funding so far, Treasurer Zach Conine said in an interview Tuesday, adding that the state is continuing to look for more companies that can receive the grant dollars.

Conine said that the program has been “by far” the state’s most effective in getting the relief dollars into the hands of businesses as well as in terms of the application process.

The new additional funds should help hundreds, if not more, small businesses and nonprofits, Conine said. But as long as the pandemic continues to impact the economy there will always be a need for more funds, and said he hopes Congress approves additional relief dollars for states in the future.

“There is infinite need and finite resources, but we’re doing our best to get that money out to the businesses that need it,” Conine said.

“I just wish we had more from the federal government so we could help everyone,” Conine added.

Contact Capital Bureau Chief Colton Lochhead at clochhead@reviewjournal.com. Follow @ColtonLochhead on Twitter.

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