LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — More money could soon be available to help struggling small businesses and nonprofits in Nevada amid COVID-19.
The Nevada Assembly fast-tracked and passed a bill Wednesday night that would put $50 million more into the Pandemic Emergency Technical Support — or PETS — grant.
It is important to note that the PETS grant website says applications are no longer being accepted. But businesses and nonprofits that already applied and were denied could get up to $10,000 in assistance.
“We took a hit by having to reduce staff in some areas,” said Sonia Petkewich, CEO of Taurean Consulting.
Like many Nevada small businesses, Petkewich’s consulting company has been crippled by COVID-19. She applied for the PETS grant last fall to get help.
“I met all of the qualifications as outlined in the portal,” Petkewich said.
But with so many asking for aid, the money just was not there. Now, there is hope.
The Nevada Assembly unanimously passed a bill Wednesday night to put $50 million more into the program. That is in addition to the original $51 million in funds. The total aggregate amount, $101 million, would make this the largest small businesses support grant in Nevada history. Petkewich prays she gets a piece of the pie, if the additional funding is approved.
“I’d love to put it back into workforce and be able to hire back staff and talent, offset some of my overhead costs would be a blessing,” Petkewich said.
Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak has asked state lawmakers to prioritize the PETS grant, as it has already helped thousands across the state.
“For many of our small businesses, the funding they were provided was the difference between staying open and closing their doors,” Gov. Sisolak said, in an address to Nevada lawmakers Wednesday night.
The same goes for nonprofits, such as United Citizens Foundation — an organization that provides mental health services to kids and families. Fonda Tanner, the nonprofit’s operations manager and outreach director says the money made a difference.
“The PETS grant allowed us to fill in that gap to be able to see some kids that did not have a pay source, that did not have insurance,” Tanner said.
Those in limbo right now can only do one thing: see what happens next.
“I’m waiting and being as patient as I can,” Petkewich said.
The bill now goes to the Nevada Senate. If approved, the State says all funds must be distributed by June 30, 2021.