COVID Pandemic Relief Program Provides Assistance For Small Businesses
DENVER - The passage of the bipartisan SB20B-001 allocated $35.15M to the Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) for grants to certain small businesses across Colorado, struggling from the COVID-19 pandemic. SB20B-001 was sponsored by Sens. Faith Winter and Kevin Priola, and Reps. Leslie Herod and Shane Sandridge.
Businesses will obtain funding through their local governments from the DOLA Division of Local Government (DLG) Small Business Relief program (SBR), managed in collaboration with the Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) and Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), who are working with local government associations and governments, regional councils of governments, and economic development agencies.
“Small businesses are a critical component of our community and are essential to building Colorado’s economy back stronger than before. As a person who has run a business, I understand the challenges our small business community is facing during this challenging time,” said Governor Jared Polis. “I’m thankful to the state lawmakers for their bipartisan action to help our communities build back stronger.”
Eligible businesses are restaurants and bars, including distilleries, wineries and breweries, caterers, movie theaters and fitness or recreational sports centers with revenues under $2.5M. The business must be a corporation, limited liability company, partnership, or sole proprietorship in good standing with all licenses and founded prior to March 26, 2020. Businesses must have at least one employee unless they are a sole proprietorship, and they must have a reduced revenue of at least 20 percent due to capacity restrictions from public health orders.
Program funding is available to counties, councils of government, economic development districts and – if a county is unable or unwilling to administer the program – municipalities. It is open to those who are under state-mandated severe capacity restrictions that began on Dec. 10 or before, and are still under those restrictions through Dec. 31. The entity must be in compliance with all public health restrictions.
Local governments must apply to DOLA by Jan. 8, 2021 using state agency applications. DOLA will allocate funds to local governments based on their population size, with all disbursements completed by Jan. 15. Ten percent of program funds are reserved for counties with the highest need and populations of less than 100 thousand. Local governments will allocate funds to approved businesses in their geography by no later than Feb. 12.
Also funded through SB 20B-001 is the Colorado Arts Relief Fund which provides $7.5 million to support arts, cultural and entertainment artists, crew members, and organizations affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Funding through this bill will be distributed through two separate grant applications — Business/Organization and Individuals — and can be used to cover any personal or business expense. For individuals, grant awards are one-time flat amounts up to $2,500. For organizations, the funding amount will be based on the size of your organization's cash operating revenue loss from 2019 to 2020. These funds are being distributed through the Colorado Creative industries office. More information is available at oedit.colorado.gov/colorado-
Applications and information are available at the DOLA SBR website.