Updated September, 25 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Resources for helping businesses respond to COVID-19
Business Reopening Guidance and Resources
Cold Weather Guidance
Guidance for Temporary Outdoor Structures for Restaurants and Events – outlines guidance for restaurants for customers to eat in temporary structures and explains criteria the state uses to classify a setting as indoors or outdoors and the capacity requirements for each.
- Permits to Expand Outdoor Dining - City Planning and Community Development is accepting temporary use and revocable permit applications to allow restaurants and bars to expand dining and consumption areas to private parking lots, sidewalks, café patio extensions, or balcony seating.
- Energize Colorado – Reopening Plan Template for Businesses
- Colorado COVID Small Business Legal Program – volunteer lawyers are available to help small businesses with COVID-19 related legal needs.
- El Paso County Variance Request for Restaurants Approved
- Additional guidance for breweries, food trucks, and requests for capacity over 50
- Telecommuting Toolkit for Employers and Employees - Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC
- Staying Safe Window Signage for Businesses – downloadable window signs for your business to indicate how you are staying safe, created by Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC and El Paso County Public Health.
Cleaning and Safety
- Preventing, Reporting, and Mitigating Workplace Facility Outbreaks
- Colorado Safer at Home Guidance for Businesses - best practices for all businesses and guidance for specific sectors including retail, personal services, child care facilities, and others.
- El Paso County Public Health Do's and Do Not's: A Practical Guide to Reopening Your Agency or Business During the COVID-19 Pandemic
- Use of Face Coverings and PPE for Businesses
- Social Distancing Space Calculator for Businesses
- Guidance on Safety Standards, Equipment and Supplies for Businesses Under Safer at Home
- CDPHE Cleaning guidance
- List of Disinfectants Pre-Approved by EPA for Use Against COVID-19
Industry Specific Guidance from El Paso County Public Health
Economic-Related COVID-19 Announcements
City of Colorado Springs
- 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.
El Paso County
- Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Approves Comprehensive El Paso County Multi-Sector Variance Request – on June 26th CDPHE approved El Paso County’s request to increase capacity for a variety of indoor/outdoor sectors and activities.
State of Colorado
- Statewide Mask Requirement - On September 12, Governor Polis signed an Executive Order extending the requirement 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 for another 30 days.
- 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 August 21, 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 between 11:00 P.M. and 7:00 A.M. MDT each day.
- Food Trucks Allowed to Operate at Colorado Rest Areas Extension – on August 26, 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.
- 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.
- 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. Applications are now open.
- 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.
- 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:
- 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.
- Energize Colorado – Business Guidance, PPE, and Other Resources
- Pikes Peak Small Business Development Center – Business Preparedness & Continuity
- Colorado Department of Labor and Employment – Resources for Employers and Employees
- Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade – Business Resource Center
- World Trade Center Denver – Resources for Trade Practitioners and International Businesses
- Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC - Event Plans and Business Resources
- Manufacturers Edge COVID-19 Resources and Updates for Manufacturers
- Better Business Bureau – Avoiding and Reporting Scams
- El Paso County Public Health
- El Paso County Economic Development – Economic Recovery Efforts and Resources
- State of Colorado COVID-19 Website
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. Did you know that when you buy local, 70% of your money stays in the community directly supporting local jobs, businesses, and our region’s economy? For more on the impact of small businesses in our community and tips on supporting local businesses, take a look at our Buy Local information and 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.