More than 5,000 Navajo Nation businesses receive virus financial aid

Nov 28, 2020, 5:00 AM

(Photo by Bryan Pietsch/Cronkite News)...

(Photo by Bryan Pietsch/Cronkite News)

(Photo by Bryan Pietsch/Cronkite News)

PHOENIX – An economic relief program for Navajo entrepreneurs, businesses and artisans has awarded coronavirus relief aid to more than 4,000 individuals, according to a press release Tuesday.

The Navajo Nation Business and Artisans Economic Relief Grant distributed approximately $29 million in relief funds to applicants facing financial hardships from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

“Since March, many Navajo-owned businesses and artisans have dealt with the economic downturn due to the pandemic,” Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez said in the release. “Many of these businesses face threats of lost opportunities, revenues, temporary shutdowns, and loss of jobs.”

Navajo artisans who met the requirements received upwards of $5,000 in assistance.

“Many artisans depend on other businesses to showcase and sell their artwork, and we know that many businesses had to close for periods of time due to the ongoing pandemic,” Navajo Nation Vice President Myron Lizer said.

Meanwhile, eligible businesses were able to receive between $10,000 and $60,000 to help keep employees on the payroll, cover operating expenses and ensure long-term stability.

The Navajo Nation has been among some of the hardest hit during the pandemic, reporting more than 15,300 coronavirus cases and over 630 deaths. Residents remain under a stay-at-home order this week, with an exception for essential workers and essential needs like food, medication and emergencies.

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More than 5,000 Navajo Nation businesses receive virus financial aid