August 17, 2021
CARSON CITY, Nev. – The Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) awarded Community Development Block Grant CARES Act (CDBG-CV) funds to the City of Wells and the Audacity Institute to provide $500,000 in grant relief to small businesses in Rural Nevada impacted by COVID-19. The Audacity Institute is accepting applications for the Rural Business Assistance Program (RuBA). Participants in the RuBA program will receive loans that will be forgiven upon completion of a nine-month online business training and mentorship program through the Audacity Institute.
“The RuBA program was designed to provide funding and support for business owners and those with amazing ideas,” said Danielle Rees from the Audacity Institute. “Audacity will provide mentoring and business training with peer support from a cohort of other Nevada rural business owners. The virtual training will require just a three-hour commitment per month over the nine-month program.”
GOED awarded a Community Development Block Grant CARES Act (CDBG-CV) to the City of Wells and the Audacity Institute to help launch, grow, and provide COVID-19 relief to small businesses in Rural Nevada. RuBA will provide up to $25,000 in funding to existing and new businesses.
“Nevada received more than $14 million in CDBG-CV funding for rural communities to benefit low and moderate-income persons,” said Patty Herzog, GOED Director of Rural Economic and Community Development. “The City of Wells and the Audacity Institute have developed a program that will support small businesses impacted by COVID and help provide permanent jobs and essential support for entrepreneurs in rural Nevada.
“An estimated 800,000 small businesses permanently closed nationwide during COVID-19. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy, small businesses are the backbone of Nevada’s economy, accounting for 99 percent of all businesses statewide and employing about 42 percent of the state’s workforce.”
“Training for small business owners is so badly needed,” said Jolene Supp, Wells City Manager. “They have the dream and the desire. Training and mentorship will ensure long term sustainability and success for small business, downtowns and city tax bases.”
Greater Nevada Credit Union (GNCU) contributed $25,000 toward Audacity’s outreach to rural businesses and other business owners from underserved populations. “We strive to help Nevadans live greater,” said Danny DeLaRosa, chief development officer at GNCU. “In supporting outreach to rural county businesses, we can assist more entrepreneurs of diverse backgrounds in making valuable impacts in their communities,”
“On our rural tour last week we met dozens of businesses that are not visible on main street – garage tinkerers, home-based canners and quilters, and students building apps,” said Kelly Northridge from the Audacity Institute. “We believe that great ideas come from anywhere and encourage all small business owners and those with ideas to apply,”
Qualified applications will:
• Have a business or business idea with less than $2 million in annual sales.
• Be based in rural Nevada (which excludes the City of Reno, City of Sparks, and Clark County).
• Have been impacted by COVID-19.
The online application opened Monday and closes on September 3 at 11:59 p.m. Applications are available in English and Spanish and can be accessed at www.RubaNV.com. Audacity will provide application assistance in both Spanish and English at 775-470-7789 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Audacity Institute
The Audacity Institute was created to build vibrant and inclusive local economies by providing funding, education, and support to business owners from underserved populations. Audacity Institute partnered with the Community Foundation of Western Nevada to launch the Audacity Fund Reno, a targeted $5 million fund investing appropriate capital in Northern Nevada’s Mainstreet and Tech companies with underrepresented founders.
About the Governor’s Office of Economic Development
Created during the 2011 session of the Nevada Legislature, the Governor’s Office of Economic Development is the result of a collaborative effort between the Nevada Legislature and the Governor’s Office to restructure economic development in the state. GOED’s role is to promote a robust, diversified, and prosperous economy in Nevada, to stimulate business expansion and retention,
encourage entrepreneurial enterprise, attract new businesses and facilitate community development.