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Aurora Launches Grant Program To Help Small Businesses, Nonprofits Improve Safety, Security

AURORA, Colo. (CBS4)- As of Monday, $3 million is available to businesses in Aurora. Applications are being accepted for the "Safety and Security Grant Program," the first of three grant programs the City of Aurora is launching to support small businesses, nonprofits and community groups with funds from the American Rescue Plan.

This program focuses on safety and security improvements for the areas that need them most. Any business or nonprofit in Aurora can apply, but the city plans to allocate $500,000 of the $3 million specifically to entities located along Colfax Avenue between Yosemite Street and Peoria Avenue and between 14th and 16th avenues.

"This was basically something to help the small businesses and non profits and community groups in aurora really react to and respond to some of the public safety issues they've been experiencing," said Nancy Wishmeyer, the City Controller.

The program could mean huge improvements for businesses and law enforcement. The grants can be applied to a number of upgrades, including physical changes related to lighting, alarms, cameras, windows, entrances and mirrors. Those changes can allow law enforcement to more efficiently and effectively respond to public safety issues.

Eligible applicants will go through a safety and security assessment with the Aurora Police Department to identify and improve upgrades. The installation work for the upgrades will be awarded to city-approved, local contractors.

'They will marry up the need with the dollars that are available," Wishmeyer said.

According to Wishmeyer, the city received more than 70 applications Monday.

Wilfredo Martinez plans to apply soon for his business, Barberia Tanchin. Over the past few years, the barber shop, located near Colfax Avenue and Galena Street, has had its front doors broken three different times.

Two weeks ago, they were also  robbed. While the stolen scissors, clippers, and other equipment cost hundreds of dollars to replace, Martinez said the incident also affected everyone's sense of safety.

"We lost a little bit of our sense of security," Martinez said in Spanish. "It's not like past years when we confided more in people."

If approved for a grant, Martinez hopes to buy new cameras and an improved alarm system.

"I think it's a great opportunity for us and we can qualify and have this help and reinforce our security," he said.

Application Process

Grant funding is available on a first-come, first-serve basis until June 30, 2023 or earlier depending on how long the funds last.

LINK: Auroragov.org

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