Boise, Idaho – Governor Brad Little announced plans today for more than 30,000 Idaho small businesses to receive Idaho Rebound cash grants, a $300 million investment in Idaho’s small business employers.
“No other state in the country is putting up a larger amount from the Coronavirus Relief Fund to help small businesses with cash support,” Governor Little said. “Small businesses are the backbone of our economy. My Economic Rebound Advisory Committee, which I created last week, recommended this step to ensure a path back to prosperity and restore the trajectory we had 70 days ago.”
News of the cash grants comes as Governor Little announced Idaho has met the criteria to enter Stage 1 of the reopening plan on May 1.
Cash grants of up to $10,000 will be available to small businesses. Businesses will be eligible if they have not already received an SBA-backed Payroll Protection loan or received less than $10,000 in such a loan.
The Governor’s Coronavirus Financial Advisory Committee (CFAC) will finalize full program sideboards at its meeting Friday to ensure the money is carefully targeted to impacted small businesses.
The criteria and process to apply will be made available at Rebound.Idaho.Gov on May 5 at 9 a.m. MDT. Applications will be accepted starting May 11. The Idaho State Tax Commission will facilitate the applications. To apply, small businesses must create a Taxpayer Access Point (TAP) account through the Tax Commission if they do not already have one. Small businesses are encouraged to create a TAP account as soon as possible. Information on creating such an account is available here: https://rebound.idaho.gov/idaho-rebound-cash-grants-for-small-businesses/
“I understand the need for transparency around spending public money, and that is why all recipients of the Idaho Rebound cash grants will be displayed at Transparent.Idaho.Gov,” Governor Little said. “I sincerely appreciate the collaboration we have had with State Controller Brandon Woolf in making this information publicly available. He is truly a champion of transparency in government.”
Idaho enters Stage 1 of reopening
Governor Little also replaced the previous statewide stay-home order with his new “Stay Healthy Order” for Stage 1. The order follows the guidance of the President and CDC and was developed in close and constant consultation with the state epidemiologists. It will be available at Coronavirus.Idaho.Gov.
Stage 1 means 90-percent of businesses can open their doors on May 1. To ensure consumer and employee confidence, businesses must follow protocols to ensure physical distancing, sanitation, and other measures are followed in Stage 1. In Stage 1:
- Places of worship, daycares, and organized youth activities and day camps can reopen as long as they follow protocols.
- The 14-day self-quarantine for people entering the state will continue, to prevent an influx of out-of-state visitors who could be carrying the virus into Idaho.
- Vulnerable Idahoans should continue to stay at home if they can.
- Employees are encouraged to continue teleworking, and employers should return employees to work in phases.
- Gatherings of any size, both public and private, should be avoided.
- Non-essential travel should be minimized or avoided.
- Dine-in at restaurants must remain closed, but pick-up and delivery options will still available. In the next two weeks, restaurant operators should develop plans to open for dine-in on May 16 during Stage 2. Protocols will be available at Rebound.Idaho.Gov before close of business today.
- Indoor gyms, recreation facilities, and close contact services such as massage, hair and nail salons remain closed but can make plans to reopen on May 16 in Stage 2 if they follow protocols.
- Visits to senior living facilities and congregate facilities such as jails and prisons are prohibited.
- Bars, nightclubs, and large venues must remain closed.
If Idaho meets criteria to progress to the next stage over the next two weeks, then Stage 2 will begin May 16. Details are at Rebound.Idaho.Gov.
“I want to reiterate that we can only progress through the stages if we demonstrate a downward decline in severe cases and meet other criteria,” Governor Little added. “It is imperative that individuals take personal responsibility by limiting their exposure to others and maintaining good hygiene.”
Meanwhile, Idaho is focused on expanding and targeting access to testing, improving contact tracing for all COVID-positive cases, and working to ensure healthcare system capacity. In addition, Idaho continues to hone plans and strategies for preparedness and long-term care facilities.