COVID-19 Response: Helping Businesses

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Updated August, 12 2020

The City of Colorado Springs is working hand-in-hand with county and state officials in obtaining the most accurate and up-to-date information about COVID-19. 

City Economic Development physical offices are currently closed to the public, but all staff members are equipped to assist you with your business needs virtually. Thank you for your understanding as we work to keep the public and our staff safe and healthy, and ensuring you have access to the City of Colorado Springs Economic Development services and support. You can reach our team at economic.developmentmain@coloradosprings.gov or 719-385-5955.

City’s Business Relief Package

The City of Colorado Springs is committed to working with community partners including state, federal and county governments, local economic development organizations, non-profits and foundations on local programs in support of Colorado Springs business owners and their employees impacted by COVID-19.

Read more about the City’s Business Relief Package

Resources for helping businesses respond to COVID-19

Business Reopening Guidance and Resources

Business Support

Communications

Economic-Related COVID-19 Announcements

City of Colorado Springs

El Paso County

State of Colorado

  • Statewide Mask Requirement  - On July 16, Governor Polis signed an Executive Order requiring all people in Colorado over the age of 10 to wear a face covering over their noses and mouths when entering or moving within public indoor spaces or using public/non-personal transportation services.
  • Protect Our Neighbors – On June 30th, CDPHE announced the final phase of the COVID-19 response. Local communities will be able to qualify for this status to gain more local control if they meet certain criteria, including low viral transmission and preparedness of the public health agency to successfully respond to an increase in cases.
  • Safer at Home and in the Vast, Great Outdoors– On July 23, the Governor signed an Executive Order to extend and amend Safer at Home to Safer at Home in the Vast, Great Outdoors. The amendment includes a requirement that all licensees contained in Articles 3, 4, and 5 of Title 44 of the Colorado Revised Statutes must cease alcohol beverage sales to end consumers at 10:00 P.M. MDT each day.
  • Food Trucks Allowed to Operate at Colorado Rest Areas Extension – on May 31, Governor Polis signed an executive order extension for food trucks to operate at Colorado’s rest areas to support small food truck businesses and truck drivers in accessing affordable meals on the road for an additional 30 days.
  • Unemployment Benefits Extended to Self-Employed and Independent Contractors – Beginning April 20, 2020, self-employed, independent contractors, and gig workers can begin applying for unemployment insurance. In addition, $600 per week in extra federal unemployment insurance from the CARES act will start to show up in unemployment checks beginning the week of April 20.
  • Paid Sick Leave – The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment published emergency rules which temporarily require employers in certain industries to provide a small amount of paid sick leave to employees with flu-like symptoms while awaiting COVID-19 testing.
  • Temporary Suspension of Enforcement on On-Premise Retailed Licensees and Breweries to Sell, Deliver or Provide Alcohol for Takeout - On March 20, Governor Polis issued an executive order which temporarily allows retailers licensed to sell alcohol to sell, deliver, or provide for takeout sealed alcohol beverages for customers over the age of 21. City of Colorado Springs and restaurant industry representatives urged the Governor to consider this concept and were advocates in support of this executive order.
  • Extension of Certain State Licenses – includes liquor licenses, bed-and breakfast permits, hotels and restaurants, taverns, retail gaming establishments, brewpubs, and more.
  • Workers to Wear Non-Medical Face Coverings – On June 20th, the Governor signed an Executive Order to extend, restate, and amend orders to certain workers to wear non-medical face coverings and providing discretion to certain employers to deny admittance to individuals who fail to wear face coverings due to the presence of COVID-19.
  • State allows restaurants to obtain temporary approval for modified liquor licenses in expanded outdoor seating – On June 5th, the Governor signed an executive order that allows restaurants to obtain temporary approval from State and local licensing authorities to modify their licensed premises to include outdoor dining areas within 1,000 feet of the restaurant, and also allows for the consumption of alcoholic beverages on a public right of way that has been authorized by ordinance, resolution, or rule adopted by a municipality, city and county, or county.

Funding Resources Available for Businesses

City of Colorado Springs does not accept applications for the following funding resources. Please apply directly through each organization at the links provided.

Local

  • El Paso County Regional Business Relief Fund – Competitive grant application process for small businesses and nonprofit organizations in El Paso County providing up to $20,000 of grant assistance to assist them with their business-related costs incurred due to the COVID-19 economic disruption. Applications are being collected, analyzed, and scored by Colorado Enterprise Fund and are open from August 12, 2020 at 8:00am to September 7, 2020 at 5:00pm. Eligibility, a comprehensive list of FAQs and other information are provided at the link above.
  • Artist Recovery Fund – Pikes Peak Community Foundation and Bee Vradenburg Foundation have partnered to provide emergency support for individual artists and creative professionals in El Paso and Teller Counties.

State

  • Energize Colorado Gap Fund - More than $25M in small business loans and grants will be available to boost small business enterprises throughout the state. Sole proprietors, businesses and nonprofits with less than 25 full-time employees can apply for up to a $15,000 grant and a $20,000 loan for a possible combined total of $35,000 in financial assistance.  The application will go live no later than August 1, 2020.
  • Alternative Sources of Funding in Colorado – The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade has created a Google sheet that helps Colorado’s small businesses find alternative funding sources beyond federal loans and programs. The sheet is being updated on a regular basis.

Federal

  • SBA Coronavirus Funding Options – In addition to traditional SBA funding programs, the federal CARES Act established several new, temporary programs to address the COVID-19 outbreak including:
  • Payment Protection Program – loan program up to $10 million that provides loan forgiveness for retaining employees by temporarily expanding the traditional SBA 7(a) loan program. The Paycheck Protection Program has reopened and resumed accepting applications on July 6. The new deadline to apply for this loan is August 8, 2020. Apply by talking with your lender or identify an eligible lender here. Businesses can also use SBA’s new Lender Match – a free tool to help small businesses connect to SBA-approved CDFIs and small lenders.
    • On June 5, 2020 the President of the United States signed the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020 (H.R. 7010), which made several important changes to improve the flexibility of the program. An overview of the changes can be found at the link provided.
  • SBA Express Bridge Loans – enables small businesses that currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 quickly to bridge the gap while waiting for other financial relief. This program is available now – talk with your SBA Express Lender.
  • SBA Debt Relief – SBA is providing financial reprieve to small businesses during the pandemic. This relief is automatic and application is not required.

For additional assistance on SBA information, please reach out to the Pikes Peak Small Business Development Center.

Resources

How you can support local businesses

Please follow the guidance from local health officials so we can slow the spread of this disease. During this challenging time for our community consider ways to help a neighbor, volunteer with a community organization, and support local businesses like buying online or ordering takeout from local restaurants. For more tips on supporting local businesses, visit Downtown Partnership.

Support the Springs offers creative opportunities to support our local businesses in this trying time. Learn about small businesses offering alternative ways to shop, resources for up-to-date COVID-19 information, and ways to stay connected through volunteering and donating to emergency relief efforts. Visit SupportTheSprings.com for more information and add your business to the list.