COVID-19 Response: Helping Businesses

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Updated May 28, 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

Economic-Related COVID-19 Announcements

  • Food Trucks Allowed to Operate at Colorado Rest Areas – On May 4, Governor Polis signed an executive order to allow 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.
  • Safer at Home Order – On April 26, the Governor signed an Executive Order to transition from the Stay at Home order to Safer at Home. Critical businesses are open and non-critical businesses are operating with restrictions. Guidance for businesses under the Safer at Home order can be found by sector here. El Paso County Public Health has issued a new local public health order that adopts and incorporates the state’s Safer at Home order.
  • 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.
  • State of Emergency for Colorado Springs – Mayor Suthers declared a state of emergency on March16, 2020 to address COVID-19 and provide the City access to federal funding.
  • 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 at Critical Businesses to Wear Non-Medical Face Coverings – On May 16, Governor Polis extended an executive order that requires workers at critical businesses to wear non-medical face coverings and gloves while at work and to wear gloves (if gloves are provided by an employer) when in contact with customers and goods.

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 COVID Relief Grant Applications for 501(c)6 and 501(c)4 Organizations – Through El Paso County’s direct allocation of federal funds from the CARES Act Relief Fund, 501(c)(6) Chambers of Commerce and Business League organizations, or any non-lobbying 501(c)(4) with an economic development driven mission, as defined by IRS Publication 557, are invited to apply for grant funding to assist with their response and expenses related to COVID-19. Completed applications are due 5:00 p.m. on Friday, May 29th.
  • Survive & Thrive COS Small Business Relief Fund - The City is working in partnership with Exponential Impact and Pikes Peak Community Foundation to provide mentorship, resources, and relief loans of up to $25,000 for small businesses and nonprofits with 2-25 employees in El Paso County. The program is now also seeking mentors to assist loan awardees – apply to be a mentor here.
  • 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

  • CO Creatives Relief Grant – one-time grant payment to non-profit arts organizations in Colorado between $4,000 and $8,500. Applications are due Monday, June 1.
  • 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.
  • Help Colorado Now COVID Relief Fund – Applications are now open for eligible community-based organizations across Colorado to apply for general operating grants of up to $25,000 for efforts on prevention, impact (including economic impact), and recovery related to COVID-19. Information on eligibility and Fund priorities provided in link.

National

  • US Chamber of Commerce Foundation Save Small Business Fund – $5000 grants available for small businesses with 3-25 employees in economically vulnerable communities that have been negatively impacted by COVID-19. Due to overwhelming demand, the Foundation is not currently accepting applications. Check their site for the latest updates on applications.

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:
    • Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and Loan Advance – low interest loans up to $2 million for small businesses and non-profits. As part of the application for the EIDL, applicants can access up to $10,000 loan advance that acts as a grant. You must opt into the loan advance when completing the EIDL loan application. Congress appropriated more funds for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan and applications are open now.
      At this time, only agricultural business applications will be accepted due to limitations in funding availability and the unprecedented submission of applications already received. 
    • Important note for applicants who have already submitted applications: Businesses with an application number in the 200's series will need to reactivate their application in the SBA portal. To reactivate your loan, use this link: https://covid19relief.sba.gov/#/. The site may state that EIDL applications are only open to new agricultural businesses, but the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade has confirmed that if someone has a 200 series EIDL loan number, they will be able to reactivate and have their new loan number tied to their original loan number to maintain their place in line. Applicants who have already submitted their applications will continue to be processed on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • 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. Congress appropriated more funds for the Paycheck Protection Program. These forgivable loans will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis and Colorado businesses are encouraged to apply promptly. Applications are now open for small businesses, sole proprietors, independent contractors and self-employed. Apply by talking with your lender or identify an eligible lender here
  • 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.