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Six local, small businesses receive grants to promote economic development

Merriweather Home + Market, owned by Erin Hanson, was one of the businesses chosen to be part of the state’s grant program. (Journal file photo)
The grant comes after Cortez was chosen to be part of the state’s Community Business Preservation Program

At the end of March, Cortez was named as one of 11 Colorado communities to be accepted into the Community Business Preservation Program. This decision was announced by Gov. Jared Polis and the Business Funding & Incentives division of the Colorado Office of Economic Development International Trade at the end of March.

This program was designed to support businesses with “strong cultural and historical ties to their community across the state,” according to a news release from the city of Cortez.

OEDIT Executive Director Eve Lieberman said small businesses are often a reflection of the community they are based in, and they should receive support to continue on.

“So often, small businesses reflect and preserve the diversity and cultural traditions of their communities. We’re pleased to be able to distribute these grants to businesses across the state, who are collectively working to preserve what makes Colorado communities unique and a great state to live, work, visit, raise a family and retire,” she said.

In total, OEDIT received 38 community applications, and 11 were chosen. In those 11 communities, 58 businesses are represented and will receive funding as part of the program.

Each community will receive an average of $162,000 to distribute to the businesses in their application.

The city of Cortez will receive $179,000 for their part in the grant program. A total of $10,000 will be used to help administer the program, and the rest will be distributed to participating businesses to aid in their economic development.

The six businesses chosen by the city of Cortez are High Desert Life Outdoors, Love on a Hanger, Merriweather Home & Market, Norah Dineh Trading Co., Turquoise Raven Art Gallery and the Zu Gallery.

According to the city, these businesses showcase “strong family ties” in Montezuma County, and the city is committed to supporting these “local artisans and products.”

The participating businesses filled out applications that were turned into the city before the program’s application deadline in order to be chosen.

“We are very excited for this opportunity for our local businesses. They worked very hard on their applications, describing their unique cultural and historical importance to Cortez. I am very excited for them and to see where this funding and technical support takes their businesses. I wish we could give every local-owned business an influx of cash, but hopefully, through the continued efforts of our community, local government and business owners, we can bring more opportunities like this to our small businesses,” said Cortez Community and Economic Development Specialist Helen West.