Applications for a portion of the $3 million open May 16. Up to $10,000 can be awarded per contestant to make changes to cameras, lights, doors and more.
AURORA, Colorado – If you enter soccer at homefootball shirts from clubs around the world fill the space, while cleats and other gear fill the shelves.
The business, a longtime fixture on Colfax Avenue in Aurora, is embedded in both the football and small business communities.
“A lot of Latinos here, a lot of Africans and they play – they love football,” owner Omar Castillo said.
Although the name will soon undergo a change and will be called Meta Soccer, the location will remain the same, where it has been for a decade.
But the family owned and operated business has seen its fair share of burglaries in recent years.
“A lot of people, mostly drunk people, they come in and break the windows, come in, try to get something, they [leave].” Castillo said. “Sometimes when we’re in business right now, they [come] in it, they go around, grab things and run. We don’t have time to follow him to see what happens, you know?
Last month, Castillo said someone took a rock and smashed one of his store’s windows, costing him $800.
Despite having a total of 12 cameras inside and outside the store, he says that doesn’t solve the problems.
That’s why he says he’s considering applying for a new City of Aurora grant program that will fund security upgrades for small businesses, nonprofits and community groups.
“We need it, you know? ” he said. “To get more security for my daughters, because you know it’s a family business. »
The Safety and Security Grant Program represents $3 million in funds received from the American Rescue Plan Act, and eligible businesses, nonprofits, and community groups go through an application process to receive it. .
Up to $10,000 in security upgrades would be funded per approved applicant.
$500,000 of the total grant program amount is reserved for eligible applicants located along Colfax Avenue between Yosemite Street and Peoria Avenue and between 14th and 16th Avenues, according to a press release.
The application period opens May 16 at 8 a.m. and remains open until June 30, 2023 or when funds run out. Click here to apply once the application period is open.
“Funds awarded to eligible applicants may be used to make physical modifications related to lighting, alarms, cameras, windows, entry doors and mirrors, allowing law enforcement to respond more effectively to public safety issues, a city statement explained. “Installation work will be awarded to local city-approved contractors who can respond to a posted service call.”
Applicants will go through a safety and security assessment with the Aurora Police Department to approve the changes.
Ineligible businesses include “marijuana (medical and recreational), businesses offering adult services or products, multi-level marketing/pyramid, real estate investment firms, speculative-based businesses, businesses engaged in illegal activities, gambling and non-profit businesses/organizations primarily engaged in political or lobbying activities,” according to a city FAQ.
Castillo said he hoped more professional cameras would be installed to help detect the face of a thief who might be breaking in, to help police with the investigation.
He also hopes for more lights in the parking lot, to keep potential thieves away from his store.
“To be honest, it’s not just me, you’re going to ask my neighbors here, they want to do the same,” he said.
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