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A Vape Shop in Sparks, Nev. on Saturday, May 9, 2020. (David Calvert/The Nevada Independent)

State officials say they are extending the application deadline for commercial rental assistance because they believe a little more than half of the $20 million in aid is still available for businesses and nonprofits.

The Nevada State Treasurer’s Office and the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) announced this week that they were expanding an application window that was set to close on Monday. The new deadline for the Commercial Rental Assistance Grant is 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 8.

“Since launching a week ago, incoming applications have highlighted just how many small businesses and non-profit organizations throughout Nevada have been financially impacted by COVID-19 and are in need of assistance,” officials said in a press release.

Erik Jimenez of the treasurer’s office said that the program has received about 500 completed applications and an additional 270 that were not finalized.

Of those denied so far, about half were because of issues with the federal Paycheck Protection Program, which offered businesses forgivable loans. Previously, Nevada businesses were deemed ineligible if they received more than $5,000 in PPP or other similar funds; the program this week removed those restrictions and is allowing businesses to apply regardless of other grant awards.

Businesses that were denied on account of such awards do not need to reapply, but will be re-reviewed by state staff for eligibility under the adjusted rules, officials said.

Other applicants were denied for reasons such as not having business licenses in Nevada or not being in business for at least six months.

The program this week is also changing parameters to give all recipients who show a loss of at least 30 percent of revenue compared with the previous year the maximum award of $10,000.

“Our office and GOED are looking for ways to most effectively help small businesses here in Nevada and will continue to adjust programs as we get better data,” Jimenez said.

The commercial rental assistance program — which is prioritizing disadvantaged businesses, those that lost the greatest amount of revenue and did not receive PPP loans — is separate from a program disbursing $70 million to residential tenants in Nevada. Commercial evictions were allowed to resume in July, while residential evictions for non-payment of rent are barred until mid-October.

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