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.
The state and its partners launched the Colorado Loans for Increasing Mainstreet Business and Economic Recovery (CLIMBER). CLIMBER is a statewide loan fund that will provide up to $250 million in working capital to Colorado small businesses through 2023.
Lenders, CDFIs, credit unions, and nonprofit lenders can participate and provide loans for their small business customers needing financial assistance.
Small businesses with 5 to 99 employees that were financially stable before the pandemic but now need help to survive may apply for working capital loans between $30,000 and $500,000. Below-market interest rates and a 1-year deferred payment option make the program a secure recovery option for small businesses. Find a participating lender to start your application.
The Restaurant Revitalization Fund (Fondo de revitalización de restaurantes), part of the American Rescue Plan Act, will provide $28.6 billion in grants to restaurants and bars in need. This fund will offer grants to hard-hit restaurants and bars, with restaurants able to apply for grants based on lost revenue. Five billion dollars of that total will be set aside expressly for businesses with 2019 gross receipts of less than $500,000.
How to apply
Applications opened on May 3. We encourage you to apply as soon as possible, as the funds are anticipated to go quickly.
We also recommend reviewing the full list of documentation required to prepare your application.
The Shuttered Venue Operators 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 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.
Applications opened on April 8, 2021.
With the $284 billion Congressional appropriation for small business relief, the federal Paycheck Protection Program (Programa de protección de pago) reopened the week of January 11. If banks said you didn't qualify previously, you should try again because of the recent changes. To apply for this round, you do not need to have had the first round of your PPP loan forgiven. You only must have used the money from the first round to qualify for the second round.
Changes to PPP
To further promote equitable relief for the smallest of small businesses, the SBA announced that it will:
- allow sole proprietors, independent contractors, and self-employed individuals to receive more financial support by revising the PPP’s funding formula for these categories of applicants
- eliminate an exclusionary restriction on PPP access for small business owners with prior non-fraud felony convictions, consistent with a bipartisan congressional proposal
- eliminate PPP access restrictions on small business owners who have struggled to make federal student loan payments by eliminating federal student loan debt delinquency and default as disqualifiers to participating in the PPP
- ensure access for non-citizen small business owners who are lawful U.S. residents by clarifying that they may use Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) to apply for the PPP
How to apply
You will need to submit your application to an approved SBA lender.
- Find a lender.
- 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.
- Review this list of participating Colorado Community Development Financial Institutions and Non-Profit Lenders For PPP Loans.
- Get matched with a lender.
- Search for lenders in your area.
- Identify a loan.
- Prepare your application.
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.
Small businesses that received a COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan won’t have to start making payments on the loan until 2022.
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.
SBA created a mapping tool to help you determine if your business is in a low-income community, which is a requirement to qualify for a Targeted EIDL Advance. Check the tool to see if your business address meets the low-income community eligibility requirement before applying.
As a reminder, the SBA is reaching out to potential applicants to determine eligibility, so no action is needed on your part until you receive an email from the SBA. Review the updated Targeted EIDL Advance FAQs for more information.
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.
The Colorado Revolving Loan Fund provides loans that help small to medium-sized Colorado businesses negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. These loans range from $5,000 to $750,000. These loans are intended to provide startup and working capital that will help create and retain jobs across Colorado.
The maximum interest rate is 10%, and the expected average interest rate of these loans is 4%. Loans may be character-based and may have terms up to 20 years based on the type of loan.
How to apply
Businesses may contact one of three lenders to apply for these loans:
- Urban businesses should contact Colorado Lending Source or the Colorado Enterprise Fund.
- Rural businesses should contact Region 9 Economic Development District of Southwest Colorado.
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.
Applications for this program are now closed.
$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 with varying deadlines. You need to contact your individual county for more information.
Colorado Artist Relief Fund
Applications for this grant are now closed.
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 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 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