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Extension town halls focus on PETS program grants

A new grant program opened Friday, making $20 million in COVID-19 relief funds available to Nevada businesses and some other organizations. The University of Nevada, Reno Extension will focus on explaining this program, the Pandemic Emergency Technical Support Grant, at its next online town hall to support small businesses across the state during the pandemic.

The town hall is free, and there will be an English-language session Oct. 21 and a Spanish-language session Oct. 28. During the sessions, presenters will explain the details of the new assistance program, including grant eligibility, how to submit an application, documents that are required, different rewards levels and the eligible business expenses under the grant.

In addition, there will be updates on some other assistance programs, such as the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loans. And, with the nation about to grapple with its first holiday season amid COVID-19, strategies for business owners, ranging from marketing Black Friday to retooling their business’ brand for the new year, will be discussed.

“COVID-19 is going to change a lot about this holiday season — the way we shop, the way we celebrate, the way we travel and more,” said Buddy Borden, economic development specialist with Extension’s Business Development Program. “This fourth quarter is incredibly important for so many businesses, even under normal circumstances. We just want to help them try to think through what they might expect and how to prepare for this important time in order to be successful.”

Extension has been offering a series of weekly online town halls and webinars for small businesses, “Coping With COVID-19,” since April.

“The New PETS Grant and Strategies for the Holidays” town hall is 9 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 21, at 9 a.m. for English speakers and 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 28 for Spanish speakers. Panelists include Tatjana Vukovic, business development manager for the Governor’s Office of Economic Development; Small Business Administration Deputy District Director Saul Ramos and outreach/marketing specialist Alfredo Cedeno; Alex Nicole Garza, a solution expers for entrepreneurs and caregivers; and from UNR Extension, business development instructors Reyna Mendez and Juan Salas and research associate Mike Bindrup.

The town halls usually run about an hour.

To register for the English-language town hall, go to https://unrextension.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_y8_vPzJvTW2di0xWXbQ15g.

For the Spanish-language town hall, go to https://unrextension.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_PXrpphfhRCio-l_wSLpcqw

For more information, go to the Extension Business Development Program website at extension.unr.edu/busdev. There are also other resources at the website to assist businesses during the COVID-19 crisis. For more information, email Borden at bordenb@unr.edu

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