Chamber Member News & Resources
(Sep 1, 2021) Colorado Startup Loan Fund program page is now live in eight languages. The Colorado Startup Loan Fund provides loans and small grants to Colorado entrepreneurs and small business owners needing capital to start, restart, or restructure a business, and those who are not able to obtain a loan from traditional lenders. Available languages: English | Español | Tiếng Việt | 中文 | Soomaali | العربية | አማርኛ | Français. Program details including eligibility and the application process are still being defined. Applications will open in late 2021.
State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed The American Rescue Plan Act, which allocated $76 million to Colorado through SSBCI. This initiative funds state, territory, and Tribal government credit support and investment programs for small businesses. We are providing a preliminary set of uses to help generate stakeholder feedback on how the funds should be used and the program designed. >> Review the plan and provide feedback.
Colorado Urban Equity Fund The Colorado Venture Capital Authority is organizing a new investment fund and is seeking stakeholder input through a request for information (RFI) process. Through the RFI, we want to engage stakeholders that will partner in the success of a venture capital fund focused on high-growth businesses in the state’s urban enterprise zones as well as businesses led by underrepresented founders including women and minorities. The RFI will prepare us for a request for proposal process later this year where the VCA will solicit professional VC fund managers to carry out the mission. >> Check our website on Friday to review the plan and provide feedback.
(Jul 19, 2021) Mini Grant Applications Open - Denver Economic Development & Opportunity (DEDO) is thrilled to be partnering with The Denver Foundation to provide a series of mini-grants to small nonprofits, community groups, and micro-businesses.
Who: The mini-grants benefit-eligible small nonprofits, community groups, and micro-businesses located in or benefiting priority neighborhoods as identified by DEDO's division of Neighborhood Equity & Stabilization (NEST).
Why: DEDO and The Denver Foundation recognize that community members usually have the best ideas for improving life in their communities. These grants provide an opportunity for residents and businesses to lead the change they want to see.
When: Applications open Monday, July 19, and close August 6, 2021
Stay tuned for the application link and more information coming soon!
(Jul 19, 2021) Colorado's economic recovery programs - OEDIT partnered with the legislature to pass 12 bills that appropriated $228 million in funding to support economic recovery efforts. As we finalize program details, we will be updating our COVID-19 Business and Nonprofit Resources page with program information and timelines.
Programs with open applications
CLIMBER Loan Fund
Applications are open.
The Colorado Loans for Increasing Mainstreet Business and Economic Recovery (CLIMBER) fund provides $250 million to small businesses with 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.
Colorado Revolving Loan Fund
Applications are open.
This 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. The loans are intended to provide startup and working capital that will help create and retain jobs across Colorado.
Meeting and Events Incentive
Applications are open.
This program provides $10 million for a 10% cash rebate against eligible hard costs for hosting meetings and events in Colorado that take place on or after July 1, 2021 and on or before December 31, 2022.
Restart Industry Associations Program
Applications are open and close on August 26, 2021.
This program provides awarded tourism industry associations 75 hours of technical assistance and $10,000 of direct marketing from the Colorado Tourism Office to support adoption of the Roadmap to Recovery.
(Apr 23, 2021) Small business resources and loan options during COVID-19 - Venturize is a free online resource hub for small business owners like you who need help accessing tools and resources to grow their businesses. Learn more.
(Apr 19, 2021) SBA launches Restaurant Revitalization Fund webpage with important program details - The Restaurant Revitalization Fund, 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
The official application launch date will be announced shortly. Ahead of the application launch and over the next two weeks, the SBA will establish a seven-day pilot period for the RRF application portal and conduct extensive outreach and training on how to apply, application requirements and where to apply. Participants in this pilot will be randomly selected from existing PPP borrowers in priority groups for RRF and will not receive funds until the application portal is open to the public.
Following the pilot, the application portal will be opened to the public. For the first 21 days that the program is open, the SBA will prioritize reviewing applications from small businesses owned by women, veterans, and socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. Following the 21-day period, all eligible applicants are encouraged to submit applications.
For now, we recommend reviewing the full list of documentation required to prepare your application.
(Feb 28, 2021) Priority window for PPP loans for organizations with fewer than 20 employees opens February 24 and closes March 9 - Over 36,000 PPP loans totaling nearly $2.9 billion have already been approved for Colorado small businesses since January 2021. The SBA made recent changes to the Paycheck Protection Program to further promote equitable relief for America’s small businesses.
The SBA announced that it will:
- Establish a 14-day, exclusive PPP loan application period for businesses and nonprofits with fewer than 20 employees starting Wednesday, February 24
- 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
The 14-day exclusivity period will start on Wednesday, February 24, 2021 at 9 am and closes March 9, 2021. The other four changes will be implemented by the first week of March.
Borrowers can apply for the Paycheck Protection Program by downloading the First Draw PPP loan application or Second Draw PPP loan application and working with a participating PPP lender through the SBA Lender Match tool.
(Feb 1, 2021) Colorado small businesses can now apply for PPP funds - Colorado small businesses play a huge role in Colorado’s economy. Paycheck Protection Program funds are here to help keep them open. Last year, Colorado businesses secured $10 billion in PPP funds, and $6 billion in new funds is now available. Colorado's small businesses can take advantage of these funds now. Learn more at oedit.colorado.gov/covid19#ppp. We also encourage you to sign up for our real-time COVID-19 email updates.
(Jan 27, 2021) Round 2 of Stimulus: What Southern Colorado small businesses need to knowTuesday, February 2, 20212:30 PM (MT)After months of waiting for much-needed relief, small business owners now have renewed access to new funds in the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program.Join Southern Colorado Small Business Development Center and Small Business Majority for a free webinar to learn more about the rollout of PPP and if your small business is eligible to apply.Topics include:• PPP reauthorization and important changes• Advance grants through EIDL• SBA Debt Relief Program• Additional policies and resources for small businesses• Q&A
(Jan 26, 2021) Recap of Governor Webinar about COVID-19 Small Business Support - Thank you to those who were able to join yesterday's webinar on unlocking resources for your small business. Below, you will find important links to resources for technical support, language, assistance, and information to apply for state and federal programs. We encourage you to share these resources with your network and we thank you for your incredible work and innovation in strengthening Colorado's small businesses. Watch Webinar. Download slide deck.
Our COVID-19 Business Resource page is continually updated with the latest information. We recommend bookmarking that website and checking back regularly.
The Minority Business Office of Colorado supports minority-, veteran-, and women-owned businesses. They offer a number of resources and you can sign up for their email updates.
The Small Business Administration has a dedicated website that houses all information about their COVID-19 Small Business Relief programs. They offer this information in multiple languages as well.
The Colorado Small Business Development Center Network has 15 centers statewide that you can meet with to discuss your options. They have a network of consultants ready to support you and your business. Find the center closest to you.
Upcoming webinars hosted by Small Business Majority cover several topics. Learn more and register for webinars.
(Jan 8, 2021) SBA and Treasury Announce PPP Re-Opening; Issue New Guidance – The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), in consultation with the Treasury Department, announced today that the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) will re-open the week of January 11 for new borrowers and certain existing PPP borrowers. To promote access to capital, initially only community financial institutions will be able to make First Draw PPP Loans on Monday, January 11, and Second Draw PPP Loans on Wednesday, January 13. The PPP will open to all participating lenders shortly thereafter. Updated PPP guidance outlining Program changes to enhance its effectiveness and accessibility was released on January 6 in accordance with the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Non-Profits, and Venues Act. This round of the PPP continues to prioritize millions of Americans employed by small businesses by authorizing up to $284 billion toward job retention and certain other expenses through March 31, 2021, and by allowing certain existing PPP borrowers to apply for a Second Draw PPP Loan. “The historically successful Paycheck Protection Program served as an economic lifeline to millions of small businesses and their employees when they needed it most,” said Administrator Jovita Carranza. “Today’s guidance builds on the success of the program and adapts to the changing needs of small business owners by providing targeted relief and a simpler forgiveness process to ensure their path to recovery.”
“The Paycheck Protection Program has successfully provided 5.2 million loans worth $525 billion to America’s small businesses, supporting more than 51 million jobs,” said Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin. “This updated guidance enhances the PPP’s targeted relief to small businesses most impacted by COVID-19. We are committed to implementing this round of PPP quickly to continue supporting American small businesses and their workers.
Key PPP updates include:
- PPP borrowers can set their PPP loan’s covered period to be any length between 8 and 24 weeks to best meet their business needs;
- PPP loans will cover additional expenses, including operations expenditures, property damage costs, supplier costs, and worker protection expenditures;
- The Program’s eligibility is expanded to include 501(c)(6)s, housing cooperatives, direct marketing organizations, among other types of organizations;
- The PPP provides greater flexibility for seasonal employees;
- Certain existing PPP borrowers can request to modify their First Draw PPP Loan amount; and
- Certain existing PPP borrowers are now eligible to apply for a Second Draw PPP Loan.
A borrower is generally eligible for a Second Draw PPP Loan if the borrower:
- Previously received a First Draw PPP Loan and will or has used the full amount only for authorized uses;
- Has no more than 300 employees; and
- Can demonstrate at least a 25% reduction in gross receipts between comparable quarters in 2019 and 2020.
The new guidance released includes:
- PPP Guidance from SBA Administrator Carranza on Accessing Capital for Minority, Underserved, Veteran, and Women-owned Business Concerns;
- Interim Final Rule on Paycheck Protection Program as Amended by Economic Aid Act; and
- Interim Final Rule on Second Draw PPP Loans.
(Jan 7, 2021) Denver opens applications for new small business grants - Grants to benefit Denver’s most vulnerable small businesses – Denver Economic Development and Opportunity (DEDO) launched a new round of relief grants to support the city’s small businesses most affected by the restrictions in place due to COVID-19. In anticipation of receiving funds from the State of Colorado’s Small Business Relief Program, administered through the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, the city has opened its application portal for this latest round of grants, which will close on January 26, 2021 at 5 p.m. Denver submitted its application for the State of Colorado Small Business Relief funds late last week, which was authorized through SB20B-001. A decision from the state on the amount of funding the city will receive is expected by January 15, 2021. “The survival of our small businesses is critical to the livelihoods of our communities and the success of Denver’s economic recovery,” said Mayor Michael B. Hancock. “We know the need for financial support to sustain them during this pandemic is dire, and it is our hope that these funds will help them traverse the gap to open in 2021.” To be eligible for the state-funded grants, businesses must be engaged in an industry affected by severe restrictions resulting from COVID-related public health orders. These include restaurants, bars, taverns, wineries, caterers, movie theaters, and fitness/recreational sports centers. A full list of eligibility requirements can be found here on the city’s website. Per state guidelines, grants will range from $3500 to $7000 depending on the businesses’ annual gross revenue from the previous year. The city intends to insert an additional $1.5M of federal funding into the program to provide support to industries not eligible for the state funding. This along with the state-funded grants are contingent upon City Council approval. Any business in Denver that has experienced loss of revenue due to COVID-19 restrictions that also meets the program eligibility is encouraged to apply. Recipients of the city’s 2020 Small Business Emergency Relief Fund are eligible to apply for these grants. Businesses should apply ahead of the deadline as applications are processed on a rolling basis and late applications could delay award announcements and funding. Later this month, DEDO will launch another program, in partnership with the Colorado Restaurant Association, and other community partners to support restaurant and hotel workers who have experienced a loss of wages due to COVID-19. “Our focus on Denver’s economy has shifted from one of emergency aid to one of hope and recovery,” said Eric Hiraga, Executive Director of Denver Economic Development & Opportunity, “DEDO will continue to act on the behalf of business and workers to provide funding, resources and policy that will carry us into a future where there is opportunity for all.” For a complete list of city resources for workers, business owners, and artists please visit www.denvergov.org.
Minor & Brown: SBA ISSUES GUIDANCE ON PPP LOAN NECESSITY - The SBA just issued guidance on the determination of whether A PPP loan was necessary to support the ongoing operation of the loan. This is very good news, especially for those with loans under $2 million. Question 46: How will SBA review borrowers’ required good-faith certification concerning the necessity of their loan request? Answer: When submitting a PPP application, all borrowers must certify in good faith that “[c]urrent economic uncertainty makes this loan request necessary to support the ongoing operations of the Applicant.” SBA, in consultation with the Department of the Treasury, has determined that the following safe harbor will apply to SBA’s review of PPP loans with respect to this issue:
Any borrower that, together with its affiliates, received PPP loans with an original principal amount of less than $2 million will be deemed to have made the required certification concerning the necessity of the loan request in good faith. SBA has determined that this safe harbor is appropriate because borrowers with loans below this threshold are generally less likely to have had access to adequate sources of liquidity in the current economic environment than borrowers that obtained larger loans. This safe harbor will also promote economic certainty as PPP borrowers with more limited resources endeavor to retain and rehire employees. In addition, given the large volume of PPP loans, this approach will enable SBA to conserve its finite audit resources and focus its reviews on larger loans, where the compliance effort may yield higher returns.
Importantly, borrowers with loans greater than $2 million that do not satisfy this safe harbor may still have an adequate basis for making the required good-faith certification, based on their individual circumstances in light of the language of the certification and SBA guidance. SBA has previously stated that all PPP loans in excess of $2 million, and other PPP loans as appropriate, will be subject to review by SBA for compliance with program requirements set forth in the PPP Interim Final Rules and in the Borrower Application Form. If SBA determines in the course of its review that a borrower lacked an adequate basis for the required certification concerning the necessity of the loan request, SBA will seek repayment of the outstanding PPP loan balance and will inform the lender that the borrower is not eligible for loan forgiveness. If the borrower repays the loan after receiving notification from SBA, SBA will not pursue administrative enforcement or referrals to other agencies based on its determination with respect to the certification concerning necessity of the loan request. SBA’s determination concerning the certification regarding the necessity of the loan request will not affect SBA’s loan guarantee. (May 13)
US Postal Service: The Postal Service wants to gauge how it can assist businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic. We provide an overview of the actions USPS is taking in response to the pandemic; educate customers on precautionary measures to keep employees and customers safe; assure customers that they can expect continued quality service; link to resources for customers to stay updated on potential service disruptions and operational changes; and link to a brief, voluntary survey to help USPS identify how it can support businesses and their customers. This effort is part of the Postal Service’s ongoing effort to support businesses and consumers as it continues normal operations during the coronavirus pandemic. (Apr 9)
Minuteman Press Westminster: At Minuteman Press, we are doing our part to author America’s recovery story by running the Bounce Back USA initiative. Bounce Back USA was created by Minuteman Press to offer two free services to help support all of our neighboring businesses as we find a way to work together through these trying times. First, we are distributing COVID-19 awareness and prevention posters at no charge to any business in our service area. Second, we are providing free local advertising on our site (here) to stimulate business and help all of our neighbors overcome the tremendous economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. We truly believe that a rising tide will lift all ships, and we want to make sure our communities stay afloat. Please use the form on our webpage to submit your company’s special offer or supportive message for publishing on our site at no charge. Just upload your logo and the message or offer, and we’ll publish your message in the appropriate category. Join the coalition now to show your support and solidarity with the business community in our neighborhood! (Apr 6)
RTD: In an effort to keep our constituents informed of the latest developments concerning RTD during these everchanging times, we will continue to send periodic updates. For the safety of our employees and riders, and in response to the rapidly changing spread of COVID-19, the Regional Transportation District (RTD) is making some notable operational changes starting Sunday, April 5. View the updated related to COVID-19. (Apr 3)
Denver Public Health: Currently, Denver Public Health and Denver Health are working with local and state partners to ensure accurate information is provided to the public, healthcare and other service providers. We have extensive protocols for identifying, responding to, and isolating confirmed and possible COVID-19 cases within Denver to reduce our risk of a local outbreak. Denver Public Health is also working with community partners to ensure that social distancing measures implemented at the state and local level are being followed appropriately. (Apr 3)
U.S. Bank: A strong community makes anything possible. We are living through unprecedented and challenging times. While COVID-19 has caused us to maintain our social distance, it is critical for us to stay emotionally connected and focus on what matters most – people. As part of our response, we are committed to providing our community partners COVID-19 relief through operational grants via the U.S. Bank Community Possible® grant program. (Apr 3)
FirstBank: Maintaining the well-being of our customers, employees and communities remains our No. 1 priority. This is one of many reasons why FirstBank is closely monitoring the evolving situation with coronavirus (COVID-19), adhering to guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and other health organizations, and implementing several sweeping changes to mitigate the spread and help those affected by COVID-19. Visit our Coronavirus website for important information and resources. (Apr 3)
The Alzheimer's Association: COVID-19 Tips for Caregivers and has a variety of virtual options for education. counseling and support. Please share far and wide with your family, friends, professionals, church members and community at large. All of our programs and services are free. Let us know if we can be of further assistance. Please do not hesitate to call if you have any questions. Call 24/7 Helpline at 800-272-3900. (Apr 3)
The Denver Nuggets are asking fans to come support the local community through volunteer and donation opportunities. There are many ways that fans can get involved from contributing food and supplies to monetary donations. Please click this link for more information on how you can support your local neighborhood! (Apr 2)
At MB Law we are monitoring the latest news and events affecting Colorado Businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to sending email updates to our clients and partnering with Colorado Biz Magazine, we are updating our website to bring you the latest information available. From requirements under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) to helpful hints that you can use during these trying times, please bookmark this page for updates as events on the ground continue to evolve rapidly. (Mar 27)
The City of Aurora launched its COVID-19 Resources webpage last week and we will continue to update it as the days progress. There is a series of three fact sheets available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Nepali, Vietnamese. Burmese, Karen, Amharic, and Tigrinya sheets are still being translated and will be added soon. (Mar 19)
The SBA is making available targeted, low-interest disaster recovery loans to small businesses that have been severely impacted by the situation. The State of Colorado is currently working with the SBA to secure access for Colorado businesses and we will share details as soon as they are made available. You can learn more about the SBA’s Coronavirus Disaster Relief Lending here. Additionally, the City and County of Denver is working on a small business support plan. They are looking at the expansion of their current tools as well as leveraging federal assistance as it becomes available. (Mar 13)