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COVID-19 Business Resources

SCORE and Grow With Google Digital Readiness Webinars

SCORE, Grow with Google, and International Downtown Association (IDA) are providing a Digital Readiness series of webinars that are providing business owners with the skills they need to be successful online. The series aims to help businesses 

  • Get found online: Get your business online and improve your digital presence. Your customers are online, so a strong online presence is mission critical —even if your business doesn’t sell on the web. Learn ways to strengthen your online presence with easy-to-use tools.
  • Reach more customers: Connect with more customers in more places. Whether you’re seeking to drive traffic to your website or through your door, discover where your potential customers are with free tools – and reach prospects with digital advertising that fits your business and your budget. 
  • Sell online: Make it easy for customers to shop with you on your website.  Grow your sales by connecting with shoppers online, optimizing your e-commerce setup, and making it faster, easier, and more secure for customers to pay you online.
  • Work remotely: Run your business from anywhere. Learn how to transition from working at the office to working from home (or anywhere else you want). Find everything you need to stay connected and productive no matter where you are. 
These modules also include Google Primer minicourses, and can be completed on the business owner’s own schedule. All modules are recorded and playable except for Work Remotely, which will premiere on Jun.17th. Access the modules here-Grow With Google Digital Readiness Series | SCORE
 

Restaurant Revitalization Fund

The Restaurant Revitalization Fund will open Monday, May.3rd. Applicants can pre-register on the SBA’s application portal starting at 7:00 AM, Friday, Apr.30th.
 
Additionally, Colorado’s CLIMBER loan fund is now open and available for all for-profit and non-profit businesses, including sole proprietorships with anywhere from 5-99 employees for cash flow issues and working capital at below market interest rates.
 

From: “Colorado SBDC Network” <info@coloradosbdc.org>
To: “Dominic Elizondo” <delizondo@huerfano.us>
Sent: Tuesday, April 27, 2021 1:16:15 PM
Subject: Restaurant Revitalization Fund Application Opens May 3rd
 
 

Restaurant Revitalization Fund Application Opens Monday, May 3;
Pre-Register On Friday, April 30!
This morning, April 27, the Small Business Administration announced that the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) application will open on Monday, May 3, at 10 a.m. MST. The application portal will open for restaurants to pre-register on Friday, April 30, at 7 a.m. MST. We encourage you to apply as soon as the application goes live, as the funds are anticipated to go quickly.

To help you prepare your application, we have compiled the following links:
  • View the application here.
  • View a sample application here.
  • View the Nat’l Restaurant Association’s FAQ here.
  • View the SBA’s program guide here.
  • View the SBA Knowledge Base here.
Watch our Restaurant Revitalization Fund Webinar with Senator Hickenlooper, the National Restaurant Association, the Small Business Administration, and Messner Reeves LLP here. View the presentation slides here and here
 
Applicants can apply for RRF grants through one of three ways:
  • Through one of the following POS service providers:
  • Full-Service Vendors providing application submission and automation for current customers:
  • Square
  • Toast
  • Participating Vendors providing supporting documentation and knowledge support for current customers:
  • Clover
  • NCR/Aloha
  • By submitting your application online here.
  • By applying through the phone at (844) 279-9989. Please note phone applications may be subject to a longer processing time.

The American Rescue Plan Act established the $28.6 billion RRF to provide grants to help restaurants and other eligible businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This program will provide restaurants with funding equal to their pandemic-related revenue losses, up to $10 million per business and no more than $5 million per physical location. Recipients are not required to repay the grant as long as the funds are used for eligible expenses no later than March 11, 2023.
Colorado Launches Climber Small Business Loan Fund
COLORADO – Today, the Colorado Department of the Treasury, Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA), and Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) 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. 

“At this critical moment in our economic recovery efforts, the CLIMBER Loan Fund will provide tools to the small businesses at the heart of our communities,” said Colorado State Treasurer Dave Young. “A CLIMBER loan could be the crucial lifeline for a business who thought they may not make it through the pandemic. I’m thrilled to announce that these loans are accessible and available now.” 

The CLIMBER Loan Fund, with loans of up to half a million dollars, is designed to catalyze borrowing that might not otherwise be available. Below-market interest rates and favorable terms provide a secure recovery option for small businesses across Colorado. Special consideration is given to small businesses located in rural, distressed, and underserved areas, including communities with low to moderate incomes.

“CHFA is committed to serving Colorado businesses, especially as they face unprecedented, unforeseen challenges. The CLIMBER Loan Fund is an important resource for businesses statewide affected by the pandemic, providing assistance to help them thrive and support jobs. CHFA is proud to collaborate with CLIMBER’s leading agencies and participating lenders to offer this opportunity to the business community,” said Cris White, CHFA executive director and CEO.

“Recovery from the pandemic will require collaboration and flexibility,” said Doug Price, member of the CLIMBER Advisory Board and Chairman and CEO of CSBO Holdings Inc. “The CLIMBER Loan Fund provides several tools deployed through existing bank channels to efficiently meet the needs of small businesses who have been impacted by COVID-19.”

“We have had a strong financial commitment from our Colorado banks, whose contributions to the fund are helping the State leverage the funds at the rate of 1:4,” said Blair Richardson, CEO of Bow River Capital. “CLIMBER is a true public-private partnership and would not have been possible without the generous support of our bank funders and a great effort by our government and volunteer partners. We are grateful for their civic engagement and commitment to Colorado’s businesses.”

Small business owners who are interested in applying for a loan must work directly with a participating lender, which can be found on the CLIMBER website.
Colorado Small Business Development Center
A division of the Colorado Office of Economic Development & International Trade
1600 Broadway, Ste. 2500, Denver, CO 80202
 
Colorado SBDC Network | 1600 Broadway, 25th floor, Denver, CO 80202
As of 11/12/2020

Small Business Administration (SBA) Disaster Loan Assistance

Any federally insured bank or lender can access these programs for businesses, unlike normal SBA programs which require a partner lender

Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)-COVID-19: Apply-https://covid19relief.sba.gov/

  • Must have suffered substantial economic injury-can’t meet financial obligations or operate
  • Provides up to $2 million for operating expenses including working capital, inventory, equipment purchases, and real estate purchases. six months-collateral on loans greater than $25,000
  • Interest rates 3.75% for businesses, 2.75% for nonprofits
  • Credit checks
  • Loan payment deferred for 12 months
  • Businesses, 501(c)(3) non-profits, sole proprietors, and small agricultural coops and aquaculture
  • 30-year repayment plan
  • Small business owners and agricultural businesses with 500 or fewer employees are eligible to apply
  • Apply by Dec.31, 2021

Targeted EIDL Advance:

  • Up to $10,000 advance (funds are not paid back for businesses located in low income communities to ensure small business continuity, adaptation, and resiliency
  • Available for businesses who previously received EIDL Advance for less than $10,000 or applied but were unable to receive it due to lack of program funding
  • SBA will only reach out to provide Targeted EIDL Advance to businesses if they are located in a Census tract where the poverty rate is at least 20%, and if located in a metropolitan area the median income must not exceed 80% of the median income for the State or the metropolitan area. These businesses must also be able to show more than a 30% decrease in gross revenue during an eight week period beginning Mar.2, 2020 or later
  • Advance amount not deducted from forgive
Paycheck Protection Program Updates for Small Businesses
The Biden-Harris Administration and the U.S. Small Business Administration are taking steps with the Paycheck Protection Program to further promote equitable relief for America’s smallest businesses. In order to reach the smallest businesses, SBA will offer PPP loans to businesses with 20 or less employees and sole proprietors only starting Wednesday, February 24, 2021 at 9 am and closing March 9, 2021. Paycheck Protection Program loans can be converted into grants if eligible recipients use the funds to pay its workers as the program outlines.

 

High-level changes for small businesses include:
  • Establish a 14-day, exclusive PPP loan application period for businesses and nonprofits with fewer than 20 employees
  • 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; and
  • 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.

 

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.
Shuttered Venue Operations Grant
Emergency assistance for eligible venues affected by the COVID pandemic. While the application period has not yet opened, Shuttered Venue Operations Grant applicants should prep now because there are steps that could take up to 10 days.
Tips to get ready:
Rural Programs & Partner Updates:
  • OEDIT Launches Shop Local Ongoing Campaign. We saw great success with our holiday #ShopLocalCampaign last November and December receiving over 150,000 impressions on social media. To continue highlighting our small businesses, we have turned this hashtag into an ongoing campaign. The #ShopLocalColorado toolkit provides business owners and economic development partners resources and campaign materials to further shop local messaging. We encourage everyone across Colorado to utilize these resources with the #ShopLocalColorado hashtag. Each month we will refresh the toolkit with new social media posts and content to share. In February, we’ll be celebrating Black History Month by highlighting black-owned businesses in Colorado and in March we’ll be featuring St. Patrick’s Day, International Women’s Day and 303 Day for restaurants. You can see upcoming themes for future months in the toolkit.

  • New Startup Colorado Network. It’s all about who you know, right? Start making mission-critical connections today on the Startup Colorado Network. This FREE peer-to-peer network of entrepreneurs, small business owners, funders, and business support agents is built by rural, for rural. Startup Colorado is more than a mission; it’s a movement to support your right to start and it belongs to everyone.
  • Outdoor Recreation Roundtable Launches Rural Economic Development Toolkit. Our Colorado Outdoor Recreation Industry Office is helping rural communities build their outdoor recreation economies through this toolkit. It provides state and local officials, as well as rural community members, information on best practices for developing an outdoor recreation economy.
  • Colorado Tourism Office launches new Partner Resource Guide to help tourism industry partners fully leverage the resources the CTO provides.
  • OEDIT Business & Community Programs Open Now:
    • Employee Ownership Trial Grant: This grant is available to Colorado-headquartered small businesses to pay for the reimbursement of professional technical services required to transition your business to become a Colorado Employee Owned Company. Applications are due February 26.
    • Advanced Industries Early-Stage Capital and Retention Grant: This grant helps Colorado-based advanced industries technology businesses develop and commercialize advanced technologies that will be created or manufactured in Colorado. Projects can receive up to $250,000. Applications are due March 1.
    • Advanced Industries Proof of Concept Grant: This grant provides funding to help Colorado research institutions speed up applied research in advanced industries and commercialize products and services with the private sector. The grant funds pre-commercial research and commercialization preparation. Projects can receive up to $150,000. Applications are due March 1.
    • Advanced Industries Collaborative Infrastructure Grant: This grant helps teams of Colorado-based advanced industries technology businesses and nonprofits develop new large-scale projects. Projects need to cover gaps in the advanced industries and identify a matching fund of 2-to-1 non-State funding to State funding. Applications are due April 1.
    • Rural Jump-Start Program: This program helps economically distressed communities attract new businesses and jobs. Counties, municipalities, and higher education institutions work together to apply for this program. When a community is a designated rural jump-start zone, new businesses can receive incentive payments and tax relief including credits, exemptions, and refunds from state income tax, state sales and use tax, and county and municipal personal property taxes.
  • Nominate Your Top Local Businesses for These Awards:
    • Colorado Manufacturing Awards: For the 6th consecutive year, CompanyWeek and Manufacturer’s Edge are hosting the Colorado Manufacturing Awards to shine a light on the region’s outstanding OEMs, brands, contract manufacturers, and suppliers. Manufacturer’s Edge is excited to invite Colorado’s stellar manufacturers to nominate in one of 12 industry and four achievement categories. View the criteria and NOMINATE your company here by March 1.
    • Governor’s Award for Excellence in Exporting: Accepting applications until March 15. This award was established in 1970 and recognizes economic growth through international business. Winners will be formally recognized at World Trade Day in May, the region’s annual premier international trade event and the 2020 Award Recipient was Laser Technology Inc. Companies can nominate themselves or other Colorado companies that they find deserving but must be Colorado-based and have exported products or services for two years or more. Learn more and apply.
  • OEDIT is hiring. Please share with your networks and invite qualified candidates to apply.

 

Join the Regional Partner Mailing List
Don’t forget to sign up for OEDIT’s regional partner mailing list for the most current OEDIT news, economic development and small business opportunities. Sign up here.
Please reach out if you have any questions and stay well.

 

Thanks,
 
Tom Monaco
Rural Opportunity Representative

SBA Debt Relief: SBA will pay principal and interest for six months for current 7(a) loans (an SBA program that provides up to $5 million loans for expansion, renovation, and purchase of new equipment), section 504 loans (program that provides 90% of the financing for improvements or expansion of business), and microloans approved prior to Sep.27, 2020 capped at $9,000 per month.

  • For loans not on deferment, SBA will begin making payments with the next payment due on the loan and will make six monthly payments.
  • For loans currently on deferment, SBA will begin making payments with the next payment due after the deferment period has ended, and will make six monthly payments.
  • Payments will continue for loans approved between Feb.1 and Sep.30 of 2021
  • The Economic Aid Act authorized an additional three months of debt relief payments on principal and interest starting on Feb.1, 2021; eight months for underserved borrowers that were most affected by COVID-19
  • Waives borrower and lender fees with the 7(a) and Section 504 loan
  • Enhances microloan program in order to provide financial and technical assistance to businesses impacted by COVID-19

 

Express Bridge Loan Pilot Program: Eligible lenders and forms to apply-https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/2020-03/Express-Bridge-Loan-Pilot-Program-Guide-FINAL-3.25.20.pdf

  • Allows SBA Express lenders to provide SBA-guaranteed expedited loans up to $25,000 for disaster-related purposes to businesses they already have a relationship with while they are applying for long term financing.
  • Must be unable to obtain some or all amount through other creditors on reasonable terms.
  • Must have been in operation as of Mar.13, 2020 and been adversely affected by COVID-19
  • Funds must be used for survival and/or reopening of business
  • Loan term of seven years, first loan disbursement within 45 days after lender’s receipt of loan number

Southern Colorado Community Lending (SCCL) Emergency Small Business Loan Fund:

: 0-low interest loans $1000-$20,000 to be used for working capital expenses. Must have reasonable credit history and demonstrate profits were able to support loan payment before COVID-19 business interruption. 0% interest rate for six months, 2% for up to two years. Must retain low income jobs, guarantor must be 20% or more ownership of company. $25 application fee for individual (waived for 90 days), six months to two-year term, payment begins after 60 days. Apply at https://nwsoco.org/community-lending/emergency-micro-loan-fund.html

        Documentation:

  • Complete Loan Application
  • Business Tax Returns (1 year, if available
  • Interim Business Financial Statement
  • Personal Financial Statement
  • Personal Tax Returns (1 year)
  • Bank Statements (3 months)
  • Sources and Uses of Funds

No longer available

Huerfano County Small Business Relief Grant:

Huerfano County has announced the reopening of the Small Business Relief Grant for restaurants, bars, recreation centers, and caterers, including businesses with a food service and/or liquor license, who did not previously apply. The grant is open from Mar.9th until Mar.23rd by 4:00 PM. Applicants must demonstrate that they opened prior to Mar.26th of 2020, and that they had at least a 20% decline in revenue year over year or month over month since Mar.26, 2020 due to capacity restrictions imposed on businesses by the State of Colorado’s Stay at Home Order and other statewide public health orders. Businesses must also provide a business license or Certificate of Good Standing with Secretary of State. Previous applicants may not reapply.

If you know of any businesses or franchise owners based in Huerfano County who have a food service and/or liquor license but have not applied, please pass this along.

 

 

The State of Colorado authorized the Small Business Relief Program (SBR) through Senate Bill 20B-001 on Dec.7, 2020. The program provides the Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) with $37 million to distribute to local governments to provide as grants to small businesses in areas affected by severe capacity restrictions. The deadline to apply is Feb.16th.

Grant amounts are based on 2019 receipts for sales or revenue and are separated into three tiers:

  • Less than $500,000 in receipts = $3,500
  • $500,000 – $1 million = $5,000
  • $1 million – $2.5 million = $7,000

Eligibile Businesses:

  • Restaurants
  • Bars, Wineries, Breweries, Distilleries (includes businesses that have beer and wine license)
  • Caterers
  • Movie Theaters
  • Gyms and Recreation Centers

Requirements:

  • Provide receipts and/or expense/revenue documentation demonstrating a minimum of 20% decrease in annual revenue in 2020 compared to 2019 receipts OR is a business that opened between Jan.1st and Mar.26th of 2020
  • Currently operating in Huerfano County
  • Must affirm commitment to be in operation for next six months
  • Have a valid business license or Certificate of Good Standing with the Colorado Secretary of State (May be Certificate of Fact of Trade Name if sole proprietor or any other business such as a non-LLC that does not receive Certificates of Good Standing)
  • Affirmation that business has not received any funds from the Arts Relief Program or Minority Owned Business Relief Program authorized in SB20B-001
  • Affirmation that the business is in compliance with all public health orders (grant funds must be rescinded if business is no longer in compliance with State or local public health orders
  • Must have at least one employee or be registered as a sole proprietor
  • Must be a small business defined in SB20B-001 as having less than $2.5 million in annual revenue and be headquartered and operating in Colorado

 

Please Submit Applications to:  Dominic Elizondo, Business Resiliency Specialist, Huerfano County

Via Email:  delizondo@huerfano.us

Via Mail:  401 Main Street, Suite 201, Walsenburg, CO 81089

Email submission is preferred.  Applications may be dropped off to the County Courthouse Dropbox

Applications are on the Huerfano County Public Notices Section under DOLA Small Business Relief Grant-DOLA_Small_Business_Relief_Grant_Application.pdf (huerfano.us).

Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE):

CDLE provides assistance for employees applying for unemployment benefits and work-share programs for businesses, where employees work 10-40% less hours for partial unemployment benefits, consultations on layoff-aversion and workshops for employees in transition. Available at https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdle/information-and-resources-coronavirus . The CDLE also provides a list of other aid benefits from the CARES Act, including-

  • Employee Retention Tax Credit-A refundable payroll tax credit for 50% of the wages paid by employers to employees up to $10,000 per employee, per quarter from Mar.12, 2020 to Jan.1, 2021, provided the business is fully or partially shut down, or has seen a decline of 50% or more of gross receipts until gross receipts recover to 80% of a quarter in a prior year
  • Temporary increases in the amount of interest expense businesses are allowed to deduct on their tax returns to 50% of taxable income for 2019 and 2020
  • Allowances for employers and self-employed individuals to defer payments of the employer share of the Social Security tax

Emergency Family Medical Leave: Pays two-thirds of employee’s regular rate of pay. Extends 10 weeks of paid leave for employees unable to work or telework to care for a child because their school or day care has closed. The first 10 days for which an employee takes leave are unpaid unless the employee chooses to substitute accrued leave. The first 10 days can also be covered by the Emergency Sick Leave Provision.

  • Employers are eligible for a tax credit equal to 100% of the qualified family leave wages paid, up to $200 per day and $12,000 in aggregate.
  • Tax credits are available for health plan expenses during employee’s leave.
  • Those who are self-employed are also eligible for FMLA and associated tax credits.

Emergency Paid Sick Leave: Pays two-thirds to 100% of employee’s regular rate of pay. Employers are required to provide up to 80 hours of paid sick leave for employees unable to work or telework:

  • Because of a federal, state or local quarantine or isolation order
  • The employee has been advised by a healthcare provider to self-quarantine
  • The employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and is seeking a medical diagnosis
  • The employee is caring for someone under an isolation order
  • The employee is caring for a dependent if the school or day care has been closed

Employers are eligible for a tax credit equal to 100% of the qualified sick leave wages paid as a result of the order, not to exceed $511 a day in personal medical cases and $200 a day for those using leave to care for children. Those who are self-employed are also eligible for tax credits.

USDA Rural Development

Business and Industry Loan Guarantee: $1 billion in lending authority available for businesses, nonprofits, coops, federally recognized tribe, and individuals. Eligible areas have populations less than 50,000 and not in the urbanized area of the city or town. Business headquarters may be located anywhere as long as the project is in an eligible rural area. Funds may be used for

  • Business conversion, repair, and development
  • Purchase and development of land, buildings and facilities
  • Purchase of equipment, supplies, and inventory
  • Debt refinancing if doing so improves cash flow or retains jobs
  • Business or industrial acquisitions if they will retain jobs
  • Can’t be used for lines of credit
  • Must have collateral equal to loan amount, and hazard insurance on the collateral also equal to loan amount

Loan term for machinery and equipment if the useful life of the capital or 15 years, whichever is shorter. Term for real estate is 30 years, and for working capital 7 years. Interest only payments may be scheduled for the first 3 years. Interest rates negotiated with lender.

For more information on what lenders are participating in this program, talk to your creditor or contact the USDA Colorado office:

Sallie Clark, State Director

Denver Federal Center

Building 56, Room 2300

PO Box 25426

Denver, CO 80225-0426

Voice: (720) 544-2903

Fax: (720) 544-2981

Colorado Relay: (800) 659-3656

USDA Coronavirus Guidelines: FAQ’s on food safety and access to food, as well as agricultural trade- https://www.usda.gov/coronavirus

USDA Programs and Services Update: USDA’s Farm Servicing Agency is extending deadlines for farm loan applications, loan servicing actions (such as deferrals) and will cease loan accelerations. Other extensions and alterations for commodity loans, crop insurance, and disaster assistance can be found at- https://www.farmers.gov/coronavirus

For more information and assistance on applying for USDA programs, contact the Trinidad Service Center, 3590 East Main Street, Trinidad, (719) 846-3681

COVID-19 Financial Assistance Network:

A partnership between High Plans Advisors, Lew’s List, and Foundry Group that provides pro-bono financial advising for businesses in Colorado to help with cash flow issues. Has 60 senior finance executives, a law and accounting firm, and a tax practice. Will be set up with an advisor 24-48 hours after applying. Apply here

Colorado COVID Legal Relief:

A partnership between the Colorado Attorney General’s Office, the Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT), and several private law firms to provide limited free legal advice for Colorado small businesses on COVID-19 by volunteer attorneys. Once you have applied, there is no guarantee an attorney will be able to assist you, and it may be two weeks before an attorney contacts you. The site offers free webinars that offer legal advice related to COVID-19 such as information on evictions, lease management, insurance asset liquidity, and loans. It also provides general COVID-19 resources from the SBDC, CDC, and the COVID-19 Business Hotline-a State resource for information and advice for small businesses dealing with the adverse financial affects of COVID-19. Apply here

Colorado Farm and Food Systems Respond and Rebuild Fund:

Funds provided by the Colorado Department of Agriculture has allowed the Respond and Rebuild Fund-a group of 14 food systems organizations- to make $1 million available to producers, processors, and intermediaries affected by COVID-19. Eligible expenses should have been made from Mar.1st-Dec.30th, 2020, be directly attributable to COVID-19, and include:

  • Reduced volume in sales
  • Packaging, storage, equipment
  • Equipment leases (e.g., cooler capacity, packaging equipment)
  • Labor (testing, paid time off, replacement)
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE) and other safety measures (sanitation, masks, and cleaning supplies)
  • Increased marketing

As well as costs to adjust business model due to COVID-19, such as

  • Developing and/or promoting digital consumer storefront to capture online sales from local deliveries or more distance shipments
  • Beginning or increasing memberships sold in community support agriculture (CSA) model, or other direct to consumer product offerings
  • Changing crop or livestock production (e.g. value-added products to gain more value per sale or make products less perishable)
  • Increasing organizational/farm capacity

Requests that don’t qualify for funding are:

  • Requests for support that are unrelated to the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Requests from producers with annual gross revenue less than $1,000 or more than $1 million.
  • Requests from processors with annual gross revenue less than $1 million or more than $10 million.
  • Requests covering costs beyond December 30, 2020

Eligible applicants are:

  • Producers: Any small- and mid-size direct-market producers, defined as producers with annual gross revenue of between $1,000 and $1 million from sales at farmers markets, and/or direct sales to restaurants, consumers, caterers, schools, stores, or makers who use farm products as inputs.
  • Intermediaries: Associations, food hubs, markets, and other intermediaries who sell within local and regional Colorado markets who have a history of partnering with and can provide direct benefit to producers in their network during this event.
  • Processors: Organizations processing human or animal food and/or using byproducts to create secondary products such as fuel, fiber, or other agricultural products. Other processing of agricultural products will also be considered, but priority will be given to processing of human and animal food, including processing of byproducts of food (such as hides, offal, compost, grain meal, etc.).
  • For-profit and nonprofit entities.
  • Past applicants and grantees

Producers, intermediaries, and processors can apply independently or jointly. Consideration given to beginning producers, veteran producers, female or minority producers.  Priority given to applicants who have never applied for the fund before.

Grants are available to producers at a maximum of $12,500 for demonstrated losses/costs and business model pivots due to COVID-19. For intermediaries, processors, and associations of producers, farmer’s markets, and food hubs, the maximum request is $50,000, with priority given to intermediaries who can demonstrate added value to their regional food system.  Applications for third round close Nov.9. To access the application for producers, processors, and intermediaries, access the links below on the Colorado Farm and Food Systems Respond and Rebuild Fund site:

Producers

Processors

Intermediaries

Energize Colorado Gap Fund:

The Energize Colorado Gap Fund will provide more than $25 million in small business loans and grants to boost small businesses impacted by COVID-19. Sole proprietors, businesses and nonprofits with less than 25 full-time equivalent 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 for economic losses associated with COVID-19 due to stay at home order, voluntary closure, decrease in customer demand, or increased operating costs. Loan terms will be 24-36 months with interest rates of 0% and payment deferment for the first 4 months, 1% for months 5-12, and 1.5% after. The second round is open Oct. 5-28. Sign up to Energize Colorado’s email list to be alerted when another application period opens. https://energizecolorado.com/newsletter-signup/

Examples of Eligible Expenses:

  • Payroll costs
    • Increased workers compensation cost due to COVID-19 pandemic
    • Premium Pay
    • Hazardous duty, physical hardship in case related to COVID-19 pandemic
    • Overtime related to COVID-19 pandemic
    • Employee stipend if deemed necessary due to COVID-19 emergency provided on a reimbursement basis
  • Rent to mitigate COVID-19 impact
  • Equipment
  • Real property
  • Livestock depopulation deemed necessary for public health reasons
  • Programs to implement COVID-19 social distancing measures
  • Training to mitigate the impact for employees furloughed due to COVID-19
  • Inventory for items to mitigate COVID-19 impact

Documents that demonstrate economic hardship due to COVID-19 include

  • Bank records
  • Point of sale receipts
  • Profit and loss statements
  • Tax filings
  • Expense receipts

Eligibility:

  • Small Businesses/Enterprises – Colorado sole proprietors and registered small businesses including LLCs, S-Corps and other business types.
  • Nonprofits – Colorado nonprofits whose mission and/or programs directly support economic development, small businesses, or tourism.
  • Fewer than 25 employees – Applicants must have fewer than 25 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees prior to COVID-19. An employer may use its off-season employee count.
  • Impacted by COVID-19 – Applicants must be able to show the economic hardship their business is facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Must select what financial assistance your business has already received and demonstrate need beyond that assistance

Priority Given to Businesses Who Are:

  • majority-owned by Black, Indigenous, People of Color, Veterans, or Women
  • In rural areas with a population of less than 50,000 people
  • In the tourism sector
  • With limited or no access to capital financing or other federal, state or local grants/loans

Energize Colorado will provide a mentoring program to assist in filing this application.  If you have reviewed the information available online and still have questions, reach out to the technical assistance team for help. They are available to answer questions or help prepare documentation ahead of time for when the application is released.

 1-800-471-0628  (7 days a week 6 AM- 6 PM)

 Email: GapFundSupport@energizecolorado.com.

An applicant may apply for funding more than once. This may be considered if;

  • The financial loss from March 1, 2020 – time of application was less than $15k
  • Additional loan funds are desired

Colorado Restaurant Foundation:

: The Colorado Restaurant Foundation, Xcel Energy Foundation, and the State of Colorado have partnered together to create the Colorado Outdoor Winter Dining Grant Program. This program assists restaurants that have faced adverse effects from COVID-19 and State and local regulations on indoor dining regulations. Grant funds are to be used for the purchase of items needed to maintain outdoor dining space in the winter. Maximum grant award is $10,000 and the deadline for applying for the second round is Dec.11, with funds disbursed on Dec.21. Apply at: https://cooutdoordining.org/colorado-winter-outdoor-grants-application/

Eligibility:

1. Only Colorado-based restaurants are eligible (food and beverage service must be the primary operation). Restaurant must be located in Colorado and majority-owned by Colorado residents.

2. Eligible restaurants must be open to the public for on-site food and/or beverage preparation and service at least 5 days a week.

3. Eligible restaurants must be in good standing with their state and local government.

4. Grant funds must be used to purchase items needed to maintain outdoor dining spaces for patrons during colder weather (“Eligible Expenses”)

5. Projects completed after August 1, projects in process, or planned projects that will be completed by January 15 are eligible to apply.

6. Proof of hardship – special priority will be given to businesses that can show a year over year revenue loss of more than 40%. Any restaurant that can show a loss of 20% or more will be considered.

7. Equitable geographic distribution in Colorado will be considered as this a statewide program.

8. Corporate-owned chain locations are not eligible. Franchisees are welcome to apply.

9. For grant awardees, ½ of the funding will be distributed upon notification of the award. Final funding (second ½) depends on submission of a photo of the completed space plus receipts for all Eligible Expenses.

10. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

11. You may receive assistance from the Program only once

Eligible Expenses:

1. Architectural or design fees
2. Construction materials and contractor fees
3. Tents
4. Heaters and/or heating equipment or expenses related to heating
5. Furniture
6. Lighting
7. Snow removal
8. Safety measures/equipment
9. Cold-weather gear for staff or patrons
10. Other expenses directly related to your outdoor dining program

Additionally, the Foundation brought together design professionals, contractors, public health officials, representatives from local fire departments, building officials, restaurateurs and more to participate in a design charette (a meeting in which all stakeholders in a project come together to attempt to resolve conflicts and map solutions) to create feasible ideas for outdoor dining concepts through Colorado’s cold- weather months. The solutions should be relatively inexpensive, fit within all building and fire codes, and keep the staff and guests comfortable and safe. These designs can be found at: https://cooutdoordining.org/winter-outdoor-design-workshop-design-concepts/

Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) Alternative Sources of Funding List:

OEDIT has provided a routinely updated Google Docs sheet of alternative sources of loans, grants, and other forms of financial assistance for Colorado businesses. The full list of resources can be found on https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/18B-l5Rz8XE14Bn9LdQ1a8oDOpi6kKB1p0v2L_qQtVBE/htmlview?usp=sharing

There are hundreds of resources for all sectors of the economy, and from private and federal organizations, assisting in everything from credit card deferments to grants for restaurant employees and bartenders. Highlights of resources that may be applied for by Huerfano County businesses-

Coronavirus Food Assistance Program:

The USDA has implemented a second round of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP 2) for agricultural producers facing financial disruptions and increased costs due to COVID-19. The program provides a maximum of $250,000 for producers to absorb some of the increased marketing costs due to the pandemic. Eligible commodities for CFAP 2 include: Row Crops, Wool, Livestock, Specialty Livestock, Dairy, Specialty Crops, Floriculture and Nursery Crops, Aquaculture, Broilers and Eggs, Tobacco. You can access a full list of all eligible and ineligible commodities outlined by payment category at farmers.gov/cfap/commodities. Online application can be found here- https://apps.fsa.usda.gov/cfap2/index.jsp. The deadline to apply is Dec.11.

Eligibility:

  1. Any individual or legal entity who shares in the risk of producing a commodity may apply for CFAP 2.

    2. Producers must be in the business of farming at the time of submitting their application to be eligible.

    3. Commodities grown under a contract in which the grower has ownership and production risk are eligible for CFAP 2.

    4. Producers can apply for assistance for only commercially produced commodities.

    5. To be eligible for payments, a person or legal entity must have an average adjusted gross income of less than $900,000 for tax years 2016, 2017, and 2018. However, if 75 percent of their adjusted gross income comes from farming, ranching, or forestry-related activities, the AGI limit of $900,000 does not apply and the person or legal entity is eligible to receive CFAP 2 payments up to the applicable payment limitation.

    6. Persons and legal entities also must comply with the provisions of the “Highly Erodible Land and Wetland Conservation” regulations, often called the conservation compliance provisions; and
    not have a controlled substance violation.

The $250,000 limit applies unless-

  •  Two different members of the legal entity each provide at least 400 hours of active personal labor, active personal management, or combination thereof with respect to the production of 2020 commodities, then an entity may receive up to $500,000. 
  • Three different members of the legal entity each provide at least 400 hours of active personal labor, active personal management, or combination thereof with respect to the production of 2020 commodities, then an entity may receive up to $750,000. 

Commodities not eligible for CFAP 2 include:

  • Hay, except alfalfa, and crops intended for grazing are ineligible for CFAP 2.
  • All equine, breeding stock, companion or comfort animals, pets, and animals raised for hunting or game purposes.
  • Birdsfoot and trefoil, clover, cover crop, fallow, forage soybeans, forage sorghum, gardens (commercial and home), grass, kochia (prostrata), lespedeza, milkweed, mixed forage, pelts (excluding mink), perennial peanuts, pollinators, sunn hemp, vetch, and seed of ineligible crops.

 

First Southwest Community Fund COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund: Loans for rural businesses and non-profits affected by COVID-19.

Eligibility:

  • Rural Colorado businesses and nonprofits, in towns under 50,000 in population
  • Businesses creating impact through job creation and retention
  • Businesses that will need additional capital to survive and re-start
  • Women-owned, minority-owned and veteran owned-businesses are encouraged to apply

Loan Terms:

  • Loan Size: $10,000-$100,000
  • Interest Rate: 3.5%
  • Length of Loan: 7 years (6 month payment deferral)
  • Use of Capital: Working capital and operating needs

 

National Association for the Self-Employed Growth Grants: Available to business owners who are a member. Must be in good standing three months before applying, can apply immediately if an annual member, after 90 days if a monthly member. Annual membership costs $120 while monthly membership costs $11.95 monthly at the most basic plans. Applicants can receive up to a $4,000 grant if they-

  • Demonstrate business need that can be fulfilled by grant
  • Provide detailed explanation of how they will us grant
  • Show how grant will improve business growth and success
  • Have supporting documentation such as a business plan

Grant funds can be used for:

  • The purchase of new equipment or software
  • The funding of advertising, marketing materials or training
  • Any specific business need that a business lacked the finances to fulfill

Become a member at https://www.nase.org/become-a-member/member-benefits/business-resources/growth-grants

Rocky Mountain MicroFinance Institute Business Builder Loans: Offers four types of loans throughout the stages of a business being developed, higher amounts available on successful repayment of smaller loans.

  • Seed Loan (for feasibility testing): $500
  • Launch Loan: $2,500
  • Thrive Loan: $5,000
  • Growth Loan: $75,000

Eligible businesses have five or fewer employees and are in need of immediate capital of $15,000, household income must be less than sliding scale.

Interest rates between 8% and 12% with repayment periods of 6-24 months. Apply at http://www.rmmfi.org/re-launch/

U.S Chamber of Commerce Save Small Businesses Fund: Provides $5000 grants to small businesses. Must-

  • Employ between 3 and 20 people
  • Be located in an economically vulnerable area (Huerfano County qualifies)
  • Be harmed financially by COVID-19

 Apply at https://savesmallbusiness.com/#apply . Unfortunately, currently not accepting any new applications. Check for updates

Verizon Small Business Recovery Fund: $2.5 million Verizon investment to provide grants of up to $10,000 to small businesses facing immediate financial pressure, which can be used for

  • Paying rent and utilities
  • Meeting payroll
  • Paying outstanding debt to vendors
  • Immediate operational costs

 Register at https://confirmsubscription.com/h/r/6FF3E206B37FBDE42540EF23F30FEDED for information on the next round.

Colorado Lending Source and KIVA Hub Partnership: Provides 0% interest microloans up to $15,000. To apply, owners must-

  • Calculate monthly credit card payments, mortgage or rent, and other debt payments
  • Check credit score
  • Show proof of business-state filing or Employer Identification Number
  • Describe yourself and business
  • Outline what you will do with the funds and how it will help your business
  • Submit a photo of you and your business

To apply, go to https://www.kiva.org/borrow

Farmer’s Emergency Fund: Grant of $500 for small farms of less than 500 acres for immediate emergency expenses related to farm operations and daily necessities, including utilities, medical payments, farm labor, equipment repair,  or purchase of seed if suffered crop loss recently. Apply at https://www.30000acres.org/farmers-fund/. Fund is temporarily closed

eBay Up and Running Program: eBay is offering a program to small businesses who transition into online retail with benefits including-

  • No listing fees on up to 200 listings per month. Pay fees only when you sell.
  • Exclusive access to webinars led by growth advisors, coaching from top sellers and other premium learning opportunities.
  • Free access to the eBay Community group
  • Powerful selling tools and insights.
  • Access to eBay’s 170M+ buyers worldwide.

. Access the program at- https://pages.ebay.com/upandrunning/

Lowe’s-LISC Partnership Rural Relief Small Business Grant: The Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) was provided  $55 million for a grant fund through Lowe’s to provide grants for COVID-19 relief for small businesses, $25 million of which is for small businesses in rural areas-defined as communities with 50,000 or less people.

Grants from $5,000 to $20,000 for

  • Paying rent and utilities
  • Meeting payroll
  • Paying outstanding debt to vendors
  • Upgrading technology infrastructure
  • Other immediate operational costs

Applicants with multiple businesses must only apply for their largest business. May make separate applications for each round. Priority given to women, veteran, and minority owned businesses or businesses in underserved communities lacking access to flexible, affordable, capital.

Latest round opened Nov.26th and closes Dec.6th at 11:59 PM.

Colorado Lending Source Small Business Emergency Loans for Rural Colorado

: $10,000 loans at 3% interest rates and two-year terms. Businesses must be located in a rural community. Payments deferred for six months. To apply, go to-https://www.coloradolendingsource.org/articles/small-business-emergency-loans

SBDC Business Resiliency Guide and Materials:

Small Business Resiliency Guide that uses critical resources, alternative resources available to businesses as well as their emergency response plans to formulate a contingency plan for hazards such as COVID-19. All business resiliency materials can be found here- https://americassbdc.org/protect-your-business/

Business Interruption Insurance:

This is insurance that covers business income lost due to a disaster and is generally an addendum to your property insurance. The coverage period is generally defined as the date the interruption began to the date normal business operations resumed.  It covers operating expenses, a move to a temporary location, payroll, taxes, loan payments, and profits. Financial statements from previous months are used to justify amount of payout. Providers include Farmer’s Insurance, AP Intego, and Nationwide. Annual premiums are typically anywhere from $500-$1500. Unfortunately, business interruption insurance only covers physical disasters currently, but business interruption insurers are considering an option where by claims are made related to COVID-19 and are adjusted by the insurance provider to determine an appropriate payment- https://crsreports.congress.gov/product/pdf/IN/IN11295

For example, the Hartford doesn’t specifically cover insurance claims related to COVID-19 but states “Every situation, however, will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and reviewed based on the underlying facts, policy language and applicable law. If you believe you have a business interruption claim, you can file a claim online.”- https://www.thehartford.com/coronavirus/businesses

It is important to discuss business interruption insurance with your property insurer to see if some form of compensation can be obtained for COVID-19 business interruption.

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