From the Estes Park Trail-Gazette (David Persons):
The town, local businesses and residents have rolled up their collective sleeves and gone about the task of rebuilding the community.
It has taken a lot of hard work. It’s also taken a lot of money from a variety of sources. But, a large part of the recovery work has been accomplished.
The work was expected. The recovery money was expected, too.
What wasn’t expected was how hard and how long it was going to take to get funds – especially grant money – that was needed to offset huge losses.
While some federal and state recovery funds have been received by the town, the only money that local businesses have received has been SBA loans, which must be paid back, and some assistance from the United Way of Larimer County’s Small Business Recovery Funds.
The latter amounted to 42 small businesses divvying up a gracious pot of $1.17 million. That’s about $28,000 per business on the average. While it helped a lot, and business owners admit they’re very grateful, most of those businesses suffered a loss in business exceeding those amounts.
That’s why receiving federal and state flood recovery grant funds – assistance they applied for many months ago – would be a big help right now for local businesses as the tourist season winds down.