Grants to benefit Denver’s most vulnerable small businesses
Denver/ Denver Communication Department
Denver Economic Development and Opportunity (DEDO) launched a new round of relief grants to support the city’s small businesses most affected by the restrictions in place due to COVID-19. In anticipation of receiving funds from the State of Colorado’s Small Business Relief Program, administered through the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, the city has opened its application portal for this latest round of grants, which will close on January 26, 2021 at 5 p.m.
Denver submitted its application for the State of Colorado Small Business Relief funds late last week, which was authorized through SB20B-001. A decision from the state on the amount of funding the city will receive is expected by January 15, 2021.
“The survival of our small businesses is critical to the livelihoods of our communities and the success of Denver’s economic recovery,” said Mayor Michael B. Hancock. “We know the need for financial support to sustain them during this pandemic is dire, and it is our hope that these funds will help them traverse the gap to open in 2021.”
To be eligible for the state-funded grants, businesses must be engaged in an industry affected by severe restrictions resulting from COVID-related public health orders. These include restaurants, bars, taverns, wineries, caterers, movie theaters, and fitness/recreational sports centers. A full list of eligibility requirements can be found here on the city’s website. Per state guidelines, grants will range from $3500 to $7000 depending on the businesses’ annual gross revenue from the previous year.
The city intends to insert an additional $1.5M of federal funding into the program to provide support to industries not eligible for the state funding. This along with the state-funded grants are contingent upon City Council approval.
Any business in Denver that has experienced loss of revenue due to COVID-19 restrictions that also meets the program eligibility is encouraged to apply. Recipients of the city’s 2020 Small Business Emergency Relief Fund are eligible to apply for these grants. Businesses should apply ahead of the deadline as applications are processed on a rolling basis and late applications could delay award announcements and funding.
Later this month, DEDO will launch another program, in partnership with the Colorado Restaurant Association, and other community partners to support restaurant and hotel workers who have experienced a loss of wages due to COVID-19.
“Our focus on Denver’s economy has shifted from one of emergency aid to one of hope and recovery,” said Eric Hiraga, Executive Director of Denver Economic Development & Opportunity, “DEDO will continue to act on the behalf of business and workers to provide funding, resources and policy that will carry us into a future where there is opportunity for all.”
For a complete list of city resources for workers, business owners, and artists please visit www.denvergov.org.
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