The Outdoor Recreation Industry Impact Fund (ORIIF)

Grant Summary

The Outdoor Recreation Industry Impact Fund (ORIIF) is a $1.8 million fund from the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) program, a part of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). This fund will support recovery efforts for outdoor industry small businesses and nonprofits that can demonstrate a negative economic impact due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The ORIIF will provide direct-to-organization grants for payroll needs not to exceed $100,000 per organization. The goal of the ORIIF is to allow outdoor recreation industry businesses and nonprofits to hire new and/or retain existing employees. Full-time and part-time positions are eligible to receive payroll assistance. Grants are provided on a reimbursement basis. 

Please note, awards provided through this fund are competitive and will go through a review committee. Applicants are not guaranteed funding or may not receive the full amount of their award if they are selected to receive funding.

Before applying for this grant, please carefully review the following program manual:
Outdoor Recreation Industry Impact Fund Program Manual, (PDF)

Applications for this grant are now closed. Grant recipients will be notified of award status by May 1, 2023.  


Type: Grant

For: Outdoor industry businesses, nonprofits (501(c)(3) and 501(c)(19) only)

Amount: Based on need, not to exceed $100,000

Application deadline: Applications for grant are closed

OEDIT division: Colorado Outdoor Recreation Industry Office

Applications open at 9:00 AM MST on February 1, 2023, and close at 5:00 PM MST on February 28, 2023. If awarded, funding must be spent no later than July 31, 2024.

Please note: funding is expected to be highly competitive. A review committee will be evaluating each application under strict criteria and will only consider awarding organizations with complete applications. Please reach out to the Program Manager with any questions about the program.

Outdoor recreation industry small businesses and nonprofits, located and registered in Colorado, and in good standing with the state, are eligible to apply for ORIIF. Additionally, applicants must comply with the following requirements:

  • The business or nonprofit has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This status will be self-certified by the applicants in the application form according to the following criteria:
    • The business or nonprofit experienced revenue declines and/or cost increases due to the negative economic effects of COVID-19 compared to pre-COVID-19 results or trends
  • The business has no more than 500 full-time employee equivalents (per State and Local Fiscal Recovery requirements)
  • If the applicant is a nonprofit, the applicant must be a designated 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(19) tax-exempt organization
  • The business or nonprofit serves the outdoor recreation industry:
    • For purposes of this grant, an outdoor recreation industry business or nonprofit is defined as an organization that supports recreational activities undertaken for pleasure that occur outdoors

Eligible Expenses:

  • Payroll (salaries and benefits)
    • Please note that this funding cannot be used to provide pay raises to existing employees and pay ranges for new hires must be consistent with current organization pay ranges.

All applications must be submitted through a grant application managed by the Colorado Enterprise Fund (CEF). CEF will operate the program as the fiscal administrator servicing the grant portal, providing grant disbursements, and collecting necessary compliance documentation. All applicants eligible to receive funding will be reviewed by an independent review committee prior to final approval to CEF.

Pre-Application Process:

  • Confirm your organization's eligibility by reviewing the Program Manual
  • Confirm your registration on SAM.gov or apply for a new registration.
    • We are unable to fund any organizations that do not have an active SAM.gov registration. If your organization is applying for a new registration, we require the Unique Entity ID assigned to your organization once your registration is submitted. If your organization is awarded funding, we will verify your SAM.gov registration is complete and approved before distributing funds.
  • Gather all required supporting documents
    • 2019, 2020, and/or 2021 tax returns (depending on the time in business)
    • Most recent year-to-date 2022 profit and loss statement
    • Cost increase documentation
    • Valid government-issued identification of the business owner or nonprofit director
    • Certificate of Good Standing with the Colorado Secretary of State or Certificate of Fact of Trade Name

Application Process:

  • The application opens at 9:00 AM MST on February 1, 2023.
  • All applications must be submitted through the application portal.
  • Answer all of the application questions and attach all required documentation before submitting your application. Incomplete applications will not be considered for funding.
  • The application closes at 5:00 PM MST on February 28, 2023.

This is a competitive award program, and not all applicants may receive funding. The Colorado Outdoor Recreation Industry Office (OREC) will appoint a committee to make final award decisions. This committee will award grants based on application scores and the availability of grant funding.

The review committee will assess the following criteria:

  • Whether the organization has experienced negative economic impacts to the COVID-19 pandemic as verified by IRS tax returns, cost increase documentation, and current profit and loss statements.
  • Other factors may be considered based on the organization’s self-attestation statement and application responses including the amount of time the organization has been in business; the number of employees the organization has; where the organization is located; and more.

Selection Process:

  • Upon the close of the application, Colorado Enterprise Fund (CEF) will review all applications for completeness and review financial documentation.
  • CEF will then send eligible applications to an internal committee to review and determine final eligibility and award.
  • Applicants will be notified of award no later than May 1, 2023.
  • If an organization is awarded, CEF must execute a formal grant agreement on behalf of OEDIT with the applicant prior to obligating or spending any grant funds. Awarded applicants may formally request grant payment(s) after execution of the grant agreement.
  • All funding must be fully spent no later than July 31, 2024.

This guide is intended to provide an overview of OEDIT procedures related to the use of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding when awarded to recipients. This document summarizes guidance from other entities, including but not limited to, Federal (Uniform Guidance, 2 CFR 200; Final Rule) and State (Office of the State Controller), which will be linked throughout as supplemental materials for review. It is the responsibility of the recipient to ensure compliance with Federal and State policies. If questions arise, recipients are encouraged to reach out to their OEDIT program staff contact.

ARPA Recipient Reference Guide

What is the Outdoor Recreation Industry Impact Fund?

  • The objective of the Outdoor Recreation Industry Impact Fund (ORIIF) is to support outdoor recreation industry small businesses and nonprofits in Colorado that have been negatively affected by COVID-19 and provide payroll assistance to these small businesses and nonprofits as they transition from relief to recovery. 
  • Applications for the ORIIF will be collected, analyzed, and disbursed by Colorado Enterprise Fund (CEF), an organization with over 40 years of experience in funding and supporting small businesses in Colorado, with final scoring, evaluation, and grant award decisions made by an internal review committee appointed by OREC. 
  • The ORIIF will accept applications beginning at 9:00 AM MST on February 1, 2023, through 5:00 PM MST on February 28, 2023.

Who is eligible to apply?

  • Small businesses structured as: Partnership; S-Corporation; Corporation; Limited Partnership; Limited Liability Company; Sole Proprietors
  • Nonprofits - 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(19) only
  • Small businesses must have no more than 500 employees, including part-time workers 
  • Located in Colorado
  • Business and nonprofit activities are legal under Colorado and Federal law 
  • Applicant business or nonprofit is currently operating 
  • Applicant business or nonprofit was negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic 
  • Applicant business/business owner or nonprofit/nonprofit director do not have any outstanding judgments, tax liens, or pending lawsuits against them 
  • The business or nonprofit has all required licenses and registrations to operate 
  • Applicant business or nonprofit organization has hiring practices that are free from discrimination, and hiring practices do not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, creed, religion, ancestry, national origin, sex, disability or other handicaps, age, marital status, or status concerning public assistance

How does my business or nonprofit show that it has been impacted by COVID-19?

  • Applicants must demonstrate through the submission of required documents and articulate in writing that their business or nonprofit organization was impacted by COVID-19. This will be shown by clearly indicating in application questions the impact COVID-19 has had on their business or nonprofit operations and finances, as well as submitting all of the necessary financial documents required for application completion. Applicants may upload additional documentation, and/or write additional explanations describing the impact COVID-19 has had on their business or nonprofit operations if deemed necessary. 

If I have more than one business or nonprofit location, may I apply for more than one grant?

  • We follow a “one tax ID number reported on a tax return, per grant”. If the locations are separate tax filers with separate EIN’s you may submit multiple applications for consideration. Please note the application requirement for federal tax returns.  

When will applicants be notified about award status and amount?

  • Every applicant (awarded or not) will be notified via email on or before May 1, 2023 as to award status. If, after May 1, 2023, you still haven’t received an email, please email orecgrant@coloradoenterprisefund.org with the name of your organization and CEF will assist you.

Does this funding have to be repaid?

  • The ORIIF is a grant program, so funds do not have to be repaid. However, this grant source should be noted as income and all taxes associated with the acceptance and/or usage of grant awards are the sole responsibility of the grantee. The grantee shall comply with all applicable federal, state, and local laws, executive orders, rules, and regulations in connection with the acceptance and/or usage of grant funds. 

What type of business or nonprofit can apply?

  • Small businesses and organizations structured as a Partnership, S-Corporation, Corporation, Limited Partnership, Limited Liability, Sole Proprietors, and Nonprofit (501(c)(3) and 501(c)(19) only) organizations are encouraged to apply. All applicants, regardless of industry and structure, must have less than 500 employees (including part-time workers), must be located in the State of Colorado, and must have business activities that are legal under Colorado and federal law.

How much funding can a business ask for?

  • Funding is based on need, with awards not to exceed $100,000 per organization. 

If I apply for a grant, am I guaranteed that I will be awarded one?

  • No, grants are not guaranteed. The ORIIF is a competitive application process. Applications will be accepted from February 1, 2023, through February 28, 2023. All applications submitted in completion, with all necessary documentation, will be equally evaluated by CEF staff. Final decisions will be made by an internal review committee appointed by OREC. Depending on demand, applicants may receive no award or less than requested.

What size are the awards?

  • The size of awards will be allocated and awarded based on the criteria reviewed by both CEF staff and the internal review committee and will not exceed $100,000 per organization.

How are the awards decided?

  • Fully completed and submitted applications will be evaluated after the application window closes on February 28, 2023. Each fully completed and submitted application will be thoroughly evaluated by an initial team of CEF staff, who then send the applications to the internal review committee appointed by OREC. This committee then scores and evaluates the application to determine final eligibility and award amount. 

Who is deciding on the awards?

  • All applications will be initially evaluated by a team CEF staff, then the results of these scores will be sent to the internal review committee appointed by OREC. This committee, consisting of economic development, grant, and outdoor industry professionals, will evaluate the scores to determine final eligibility and award amount. 

Does the business or nonprofit need to be organized in the State of Colorado?

  • Yes, and the organization needs to be in good standing with the Colorado Secretary of State. Physical location in Colorado is an eligibility requirement for this grant. Physical location can include both a brick-and-mortar business location and/or employees working in the State of Colorado (as long as the organization is registered in Colorado, serves Colorado, and is in good standing with the Secretary of State).

Why is this grant only available for payroll expenses?

  • OREC has opted to focus on workforce support for this grant, as that has been one of the greatest needs shared by organizations across the state. To make this grant as fair and as streamlined as possible for all grant recipients, payroll is the only option for reimbursement. For the sake of this grant, payroll includes both salary and benefits.

What is a SAM.gov registration?

  • The System for Award Management (SAM.gov) is the official website of the U.S. Government. There is no cost to use SAM.gov. You can use this site to:
    • Register to do business with the U.S. Government
    • Update, renew, or check the status of your entity registration
    • Search for entity registration and exclusion records
    • Search for assistance listings (formerly CFDA.gov), wage determinations (formerly WDOL.gov), contract opportunities (formerly FBO.gov), and contract data reports (formerly part of FPDS.gov).
    • View and submit BioPreferred and Service Contract Reports
    • Access publicly available award data via data extracts and system accounts

If awarded, what is 2 “Code of Regulations” (CFR) 200?

  • Grantees will need to be compliant with 2 CFR 200, also known as, The Uniform Guidance, which is part of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). This is a government-wide framework for grants management that establishes uniform administrative requirements, cost principles, and audit requirements for federal awards to non-federal entities.

Why will I be required to attend a mandatory webinar before receiving these funds?

  • All awardees will be required to attend a mandatory webinar to learn about state and federal government reporting and compliance requirements, including those found in 2 CFR 200. A webinar will ensure all awardees understand the requirements and know what to expect when it comes to future grant reporting.

This is a Reimbursable Grant.  What do I need to do to receive the funds?

  • Awards under this grant are to be used for payroll expenses.  Once the organization has incurred the payroll expense, it will submit a request for reimbursement including applicable documentation (payroll registers, pay stubs, and employee timesheets signed by the employee and supervisor).  The request for reimbursement will be reviewed by the Colorado Enterprise Fund staff and approved for disbursement by OEDIT staff.

Are contractors/1099 employees eligible to receive funding through this program?

  • Yes. As long as the organization can provide documentation demonstrating a contractor provides services for the organization, they are eligible to be covered under this program.

Is my organization eligible to receive funding if we use a staffing company for payroll?

  • Yes, and we would just require invoices from the staffing company as proof of services.

What if my organization is part of a centralized organization that is not just based in Colorado?

  • Your organization is eligible to apply for this grant, however, you would need to provide other background information in your application explaining your relationship to the organization and how you work within and serve Colorado. As a reminder, both physical location in Colorado and being registered and in good standing with the State of Colorado are eligibility requirements for this grant. 

What is the timeline from the time of submission to being notified of award?

  • We anticipate award notifications will go out no later than May 1, 2023.

Will quarterly 941s be used to determine payroll headcount totals?

  • Quarterly 941s can be used as supporting documentation for organizations that have W2 employees.

How many employees is my nonprofit allowed to have in order to apply for this grant?

  • While businesses are required to have no more than 500 employees (per State and Local Fiscal Recovery requirements), there is no cap on the number of employees a nonprofit has in order to be eligible for this grant.

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