How Silverthorne, CO Awarded 92 Small Business Emergency Grants With the Help of Laserfiche
Solution Contributed By: Laura Kennedy, Finance Director, Town of Silverthorne, CO
Silverthorne, CO is a town that relies heavily on tourism, especially during the ski season. The town’s many small businesses were hit very hard due to the state’s COVID-19 related mandatory shut down of non-essential businesses.
To help these businesses stay afloat, the Town Council allocated $350,000 in emergency grants. To simplify the application process, the town’s Laserfiche Solution Provider, Peak Performance Imaging Solutions, created an online grant application form using Laserfiche. Laserfiche Workflow was used to send out over 400 grant application invitations via email. The email included a link to the grant application, which was also available on the Town’s website. The form was so successful, the organization received 95 applications in a week, and was able to award 92 grants.
“The turnaround time for awarding the grants was two weeks. Laserfiche made everything very easy. I could easily access all documentation from home without having to deal with mailing paperwork back and forth,” says Laura Kennedy, Finance Director.
Small Business Owners Fill out a Form to Apply for the Grant
In order to be considered for an emergency grant, a small business owner had to first fill out the application form. Laserfiche Forms looked up the contact information of any small businesses with active business licenses in the Caselle business database and pre-filled many of the fields. The applicant was allowed to make edits if necessary.
This Laserfiche form walked the applicant through a series of questions. If the applicant did not have a valid business license, he or she could input the information manually. The applicant also had to upload some additional documentation and sign the application before submitting it.
Once the application is submitted, it was saved in a new folder in the Laserfiche repository, along with supporting documentation. Appropriate metadata was attached to all the documents.
Submission Information Was Compiled in a Custom Report
After the deadline, the data from all the submissions was compiled into a custom report and downloaded into Excel. This report provided an organized framework for review.
Organizing all of the documents in folders by business name made it easy for staff to identify missing information and contact the business owner in the event that more documentation was needed. The report would then be run again and all changes updated automatically.
Once the decision was made and the grants awarded, a specific metadata field was populated for every application that was selected. A workflow used the metadata of each document to automatically send an email to businesses which were selected as grant awardees.
Checks Were Cut Within Two Weeks of the Deadline
It took about two weeks from when the application period ended to when the awardees were notified, and checks issued. The whole process was completely digital, and staff members could review all applications and issue checks to the winners from home. As a result of this initiative, 92 small businesses were able to continue staying afloat.