DENVER – The state of Colorado and the city of Denver both announced initial economic relief plans on Thursday in an attempt to help businesses and workers affected by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
Gov. Jared Polis announced Thursday that the Small Business Administration has provided disaster relief for small business loans in Colorado under the SBA’s Economic Disaster Lending Program – something it had said he had been looking at the federal government for the past few days.
The approval will allow small businesses, nonprofits, agricultural co-operatives and aquaculture businesses affected by the virus outbreak to apply for up to $ 2 million in low-interest federal loans to pay their bills. debts, their payrolls and their accounts payable, the state said.
“Small local businesses are bearing the brunt of this impact and are facing a severe drop in customer traffic,” Dan Nordberg, regional administrator for the SBA, said in a statement. “The SBA’s top priority is helping businesses affected by Coroanvirus (COVID-19) and our economic disaster loans may be the lifelines they need to get through this difficult time.”
The loan money was approved when the Supplementary Appropriations for Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Act was approved by Congress.
More information on eligibility, loan applications and other resources are available at ChooseColorado.com.
“The economic impact of COVID-19 has been felt statewide. We are committed to protecting public health and safety and will continue to fight to reduce the pain small businesses in Colorado feel, ”Polis said in a statement. “This essential designation allows small businesses in Colorado’s 64 counties to apply for federal payback loans that can help them get through this difficult time. I thank the Colorado federal delegation for their efforts to unlock this aid. “
Denver announces initial $ 4 million relief fund
Also Thursday, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock said the city was creating an initial $ 4 million relief fund to try to help small businesses affected by the outbreak.
The Denver Economic Development and Opportunity (DEDO) will have a program to provide eligible businesses with cash grants of up to $ 7,500 – with priority given to industries most affected, such as the restaurant industry.
An already existing microcredit program will be refocused on stabilizing small businesses, and businesses that already receive loans from DEDO can temporarily defer loan payments if necessary, the city said.
The cash grants and microcredit fund will be distributed throughout the city in conjunction with the Downtown Denver Partnership and Mile High United Way.
In addition, grants of up to $ 1,000 will be available for individual artists living in Denver who are affected by Denver Arts and Venues’ IMAGINE 2020 Artist Fund.
Artists eligible for the grant can use it to recover losses, travel costs, compensate for loss of teachers’ income. Low-income artists or those with no other source of income will be prioritized, the city said.
The Denver Department of Finance will waive the 15% penalty for late payments of sales, use, and business privilege taxes in February and March due this month and next.
Parking law enforcement is also generally suspended for the next 30 days, the city said.
For more information on Denver programs, Click here.
The city said DEDO will also work with the state on next steps regarding SBA economic disaster loans.
“I know and believe in my heart that we will get to the other side of the issue by working together,” Hancock said at an afternoon press conference. “Our goal is to preserve people’s jobs by supporting our companies so that they can support their employees. …. Stay calm, be patient, be generous with your time and resources.