COVID-19 Business and Nonprofit Resources
The following resources are available to support small businesses, nonprofits, freelancers, and independent contractors. For the latest news, please review the Governor's press releases. The Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment developed the Colorado COVID-19 website that houses all of their communications and the latest information regarding Colorado's response.
With the new $284 billion Congressional appropriation for small business relief, the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) reopened the week of January 11 to community financial institutions and nonprofit lenders. Applications were open to make First Draw PPP Loans on Monday, January 11, and Second Draw PPP Loans on Wednesday, January 13.
Eligible lenders of the first two draws of PPP loans were one of four types:
- Community Financial Development Institution (CDFI)
- Minority Depository Institution (MDI)
- Community Development Corporation (CDC)
- Microlender Intermediary
Review this list of participating Colorado Community Development Financial Institutions and Non-Profit Lenders For PPP Loans.
Friday, January 15, the PPP loan portal opened to PPP-eligible lenders with $1 billion or less in assets for First and Second Draw Applications. This is an effort to reach smaller lenders and businesses by opening to approximately 5,000 more lenders, including community banks, credit unions, and farm credit institutions.
The PPP portal fully opened Tuesday, January 19 to all participating PPP lenders to submit first and second draw loan applications. Clients should still consult with their lenders on when and how to apply. Lender Match is available for clients looking for a PPP lender.
In the new rounds of PPP, businesses that use an agent to file their PPP applications will be responsible for covering the corresponding expense for their service. In the 2020 PPP allocations, the lender paid that fee; however, businesses are now responsible for the fee and cannot use PPP funds to reimburse themselves. For PPP applicants that have previously received PPP loans, the financial institution which processed last year’s loan is your best place for you to begin new inquiries.
In preparation, this Prepare for the PPP document outlines the key elements needed to prepare for your PPP application.
To calculate your PPP loan amount, see SBA's guide, How to Calculate Maximum Loan Amounts for First Draw PPP Loans.
Finally, to help guide you through the process, the following links provide detailed information for each corresponding element of the federal stimulus:
- 1st Draw PPP Loans: For qualified recipients that have not previously received a PPP loan
- 2nd Draw PPP Loans: For qualified recipients that have previously received a PPP loan
- Eligible PPP expenses for forgiveness have been expanded
- Guidance on Accessing Capital for Minority, Underserved, Veteran and Women-Owned Businesses
- Changes to Employee Retention Tax Credit
- EIDL and the EIDL Advance program are re-opening for target areas. Information is forthcoming from SBA.
The Shuttered Venue Operators (SVO) Grant program was established by The Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Non-Profits, and Venues Act, signed into law on December 27, 2020. The program includes $15 billion in grants to shuttered venues, to be administered by the Small Business Administration’s Office of Disaster Assistance.
Eligible applicants may qualify for SVO Grants equal to 45% of their gross earned revenue, with the maximum amount available for a single grant award of $10 million. $2 billion is reserved for eligible applications with up to 50 full-time employees.
The grant is not open for applications yet, but will be soon.
Governor Polis signed into law SB20B-001 on Monday, December 7. The bill provides $57 million in direct aid, grants, and annual fee waivers to struggling small businesses and also creates grant programs and allocates funds specifically for art and cultural organizations as well as minority-owned businesses.
Multiple state agencies are working with local government associations and governments, regional councils of governments and economic development agencies, and non-profit distributors on eligibility, applications and distribution.
Please continue checking this site which will be updated as plans are finalized or sign up for email updates.
$35.15 million was allocated to the Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) Small Business Relief Program for grants to eligible local governments to disburse to certain small businesses across Colorado, struggling from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Eligible businesses need to:
- be restaurants and bars, including distilleries, wineries and breweries, caterers, movie theaters and fitness or recreational sports centers
- be founded prior to March 26, 2020
- have revenues under $2.5 million
- be a corporation, limited liability company, partnership, or sole proprietorship in good standing with all licenses
- have at least one employee unless they are a sole proprietorship
- have a reduced revenue of at least 20% due to capacity restrictions from public health orders
Businesses should apply directly to their county, municipality, or council of government. Many local governments have applications available across Colorado.
This Google sheet is ‘live’, so you may see changes as we make real-time updates. OEDIT will be updating this sheet regularly and we are aware that resources can change on a day-to-day basis. If you come across any resources that are no longer active, please email us.
Colorado Artist Relief Fund
The Colorado Arts Relief Grant provided $7.5 million to support arts, cultural and entertainment artists, crew members, and organizations affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Applications for this grant are now closed.
The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program provides small businesses and non-profits with low-interest loans that can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing due to COVID-19.
This loan may be used to:
- keep employees on payroll
- pay for sick leave
- meet increased production costs due to supply chain disruptions
- pay business obligations, including debts, rent and mortgage payments
Eligible entities include small businesses, non-profits, veterans organizations, tribal businesses, ESOPs and cooperatives with less than 500 employees, sole proprietorships, self-employed individuals, and independent contractors.
How to apply
Businesses and nonprofits can apply now through SBA’s online application portal. After submitting that application, you will then continue with the more detailed EIDL application.
- Verify eligibility through SBA’s online portal.
- Gather necessary materials such as your business’s most recent tax return, owner’s/GP’s personal financial statement, and schedule of liabilities.
- Apply through SBA.
- If you have an application number from when you submitted, you are in the SBA system under review. Your application is still being processed by SBA if you have not heard not back.
The US Small Business Administration made a frequently asked questions PDF about this program. This document outlines the difference between EIDL and the Paycheck Protection Program as well as application and repayment questions.
Applications for this fund are closed and all funds have been awarded.
The Energize Colorado Gap Fund provides more than $25 million in small business loans and grants to boost small business enterprises throughout the state. Sole proprietors, businesses, and nonprofits with less than 25 full-time employees can apply for up to a $15,000 grant and a $20,000 loan for a possible combined total of $35,000 in financial assistance.
Anyone eligible is welcome to apply. Preference will be given to small businesses:
- majority-owned by minority, women, or veterans
- located in a rural area
- that have not been successful in pursuing and/or receiving funds from the EIDL, Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act
The Colorado Loans to Increase Mainstreet Business Economy Recovery (CLIMBER) Fund will provide loans to small businesses with up to 99 employees. The fund consists of $250 million. The fund aims to launch at the end of 2020 or early 2021.
More program information will be available on State Treasurer, OEDIT, and CHFA web sites as the launch date nears. Sign up for our COVID-19 email updates.
The Express Bridge Loan Pilot Program allows small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 with less paperwork. These loans can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing and can be a term loan or used to bridge the gap while applying for a direct SBA Economic Injury Disaster loan.
Any of the following who have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender: small businesses, non-profits, veterans organizations, tribal businesses, ESOPs and cooperatives with less than 500 employees, sole proprietorships, self-employed individuals, and independent contractors
How to Apply
Talk to your local lender and find out if they are an SBA Express Lender. If your lender is not authorized, please review this list of Colorado SBA Express Lenders.
The Alternative Sources of Funding Google sheet helps Colorado’s small businesses find alternative funding sources beyond EIDL, PPP, and other federal loans and programs. OEDIT will be updating this sheet regularly and are aware that resources can change on a day-to-day basis. If you come across any resources that are no longer active, please email us.
This Google sheet is ‘live’, so you may see changes as we make real-time updates.
We also have compiled a comprehensive list of Small Business Lenders in Colorado.
The State of Colorado has partnered with the legal community to create a volunteer program called the Colorado COVID Legal Relief. This organization connects attorneys with Colorado businesses in need to help them make informed decisions and get back on their feet.
From financial aid compliance to leasing arrangements and business liability, small businesses across our state face complex challenges, and most small businesses need legal resources and expertise to make informed decisions.
The Colorado Lawyers Committee is matching volunteer attorneys with small businesses in need of assistance. This organization is a nonpartisan consortium of 80 Colorado law firms dedicated to creating and increasing opportunities for children, the poor and other disadvantaged communities through pro bono legal advocacy, negotiation, and litigation.
The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment created a Layoff Assistance page, which outlines a number of programs and resources to help business owners make difficult decisions around laying off employees.
The Coronavirus, Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) allows employers to defer the deposit and payment of the employer's share of Social Security taxes and self-employed individuals to defer payment of certain self-employment taxes.
The Colorado Department of Labor's unemployment page has worksheets to calculate benefits, frequently asked questions, and a link to file an unemployment claim. You can also reach out to their call center hotline at (303)318-9000. The call center is open Monday through Friday from 8 am to 4 pm You can also request a call-back to receive support on filing a claim.
The Small Business Navigator can direct you to resources and answer questions about COVID-19 specific funding. Hours are Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.
Hotline: (303) 860-5881
Find the latest news related to COVID-19 in Colorado.
Governor Jared Polis Colorado Office of Emergency Management Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade Colorado Department of Labor and Employment U.S. Small Business Administration