COVID-19 Response: Helping Businesses

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Updated June 26, 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

Economic-Related COVID-19 Announcements

  • Safer at Home and in the Vast, Great Outdoors – On June 1, the Governor signed an Executive Order to extend and amend Safer at Home to Safer at Home in the Vast, Great Outdoors until July 1, 2020. Additional businesses can open and activities can resume with abundant precautions and are subject to physical distancing requirements. The seventh amended Public Health Order (dated June 18, 2020) has been updated to reflect the new executive order.
  • 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.
  • 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 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

  • 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.

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.
  • 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 applications are being accepted until June 30, 2020. However, most banks will only accept applications until Friday, June 26th. 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. 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.