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Hailey businesses have until Friday to apply for CARES Act money through the city.

Beginning next week, the city of Hailey will start doling out as much as $200,000 to small businesses using federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act relief funds allocated to the city.

Qualifying businesses and organizations will be eligible to receive up to $10,000 each to cover COVID-19-related expenses incurred between June 20 and Dec. 30, City Administrator Heather Dawson said, and grants will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.

The application deadline is Friday, Dec. 18. The city has received over 30 applications—more than a quarter of those from restaurants—but has not approved any yet, Dawson said.

“There’s quite a bit of hardship out in our business community,” she said during a City Council meeting Monday, adding that not all applicants had understood that the grant program is for the reimbursement of expenses.

Mary Clare Griffin, a longtime caterer, said during a public-comment session Monday that she and other private contractors in Hailey were ineligible for the grant because their contracts had simply dried up.

“We’re just falling through the cracks,” she said. “My expenses are directly tied to my contracts and I’ve lost all contractual gigs. I’ve had to take out personal loans just to survive.”

Councilman Sam Linnet said he would be in favor of brainstorming solutions for private contractors who are no longer bringing in a monthly salary.

“I’m very, very sorry that you have to go through this,” he told Griffin. “I will keep working with staff to try to find any opportunities we can to support our businesses here. There’s been a complete, total failure from the state and federal level of government—from people that have the resources to support businesses and individuals like you—and I wish there was more being done.”

Mayor Martha Burke responded that she would call a meeting this week to discuss how the city could aid sole proprietors in Hailey.

Email the writer: ejones@mtexpress.com

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