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Program funds available for Vegas-area businesses, tenants to help pay rent

Posted at 5:47 PM, Aug 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-13 00:48:52-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — If you’re someone struggling to pay rent for either your home or business, there are programs available in the Las Vegas valley to help amid the pandemic.

Many have lost their jobs during the pandemic, with their mental health taking a hit while trying to figure out how to pay rent or their mortgage.

And that’s exactly how Shawntee Bushner feels. She’s been out of work for a few months.

“I was furloughed from my job back in April and officially laid off in July,” Bushner said.

That’s made it extremely difficult for her to pay rent, so she asked for help applying for rental assistance through the state.

“So far, it’s been fairly simple. I was actually quite surprised at how fast it actually moved for me,” she said.

Bushner says she’s close to getting the money she needs.

“Just having this opportunity that’s going to assist me to catch up on my rent and my utilities is a huge help,” Bushner said.

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State treasurer Zach Conine says about $50 million in CARES Act money has been allocated for rental assistance in Clark County. He says people can apply through various nonprofits.

The grant money can help pay back rent or utilities and applicants don’t need to pay anything back.

“They’ll reach out to you. Take you through the application process, and then if you’re approved, the money goes directly to your landlord,” Conine said.

He says the rental assistance programs are vital in helping the state recover.

“It’s important that we find solutions for all these programs because keeping people in their homes is deeply important during a pandemic, but also really important for the economic recovery to follow,” Conine said.

Bushner says she encourages people to look into the assistance programs to help with their finances.

Programs, help available in the Las Vegas area for small businesses and residents

“Just go ahead and try because there’s a lot of agencies that are actually assisting. A lot of them are doing utilities, rental, and mortgage,” she said.

Clark County Commissioner Michael Naft says the county has set up a program to provide grants for businesses to help pay lease agreements or other expenses.

“We have a stabilization program that’s intended to help offset some of the costs associated with loss of revenue during this difficult time,” he said.

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He says about 400 businesses applied for the first round of funds and expects the next round of funds to open up for application around the beginning of September.

“We’ll be able to announce the details of the next grant program to make sure the dollars are getting into the tills of people’s businesses,” Naft said.

The state is also providing assistance, allocating $20 million in CARES Act funds to help businesses across the state. It provides $10,000 grants that can be used to pay rent.

“If you, as a business, have prioritized paying back rent as opposed to paying other suppliers or paying employees, you can use this money to pay future rent so you have more resources to pay for anything else,” Conine said.

Commissioner Naft says these assistance programs can help everyone in the long run and encourages others to look into them.

“This is not the time to be bashful. This is the time to ask for the assistance you need,” Naft said.

Information for the rental assistance program can be found here. Information for business assistance can be found here.