Small businesses have been incredibly hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and the necessary government response to the pandemic, including lockdowns and opening restrictions. These conditions, while important, have forced businesses all over the country to close at least temporarily, with over 100,000 permanently closing. Businesses owned by women and minorities have been especially hard hit, and that has lead to difficult situations for families across the country.
Many state governments have been working to come up with solutions, and Colorado has opened up a new grant and loan program to help address the situation, with special priority to be given to businesses and nonprofits owned and operated by women and people of color.
This grant program will awards grants to businesses and nonprofits with 25 or fewer employees that have been impacted by the pandemic, and are experiencing direct-business disruptions. Eligible businesses and nonprofits will be able to apply for up to $35,000 in grant funds and loan money in this new public-private partnership. This program is being funded by a combination of CARES Act funds together with private donations
Here’s how the program will work: eligible businesses and nonprofits will be able to apply for $15,000 in CARES grant funds, as well as an additional $20,000 in loan funds.
Small businesses will have to have fewer than 25 full-time employees. Nonprofits are eligible for this program if they are focused on:
- Economic Development
- Small Businesses
Nonprofits and small businesses owned by women or people of color will be given priority, as well as businesses that were not awarded PPP funds or any other form of government assistance.
As with similar programs in other states and counties, all business applicants must show proof of hardship caused by COVID-19 through documented financial records in order to be eligible for these funds.
For these loans, interest would be deferred for up to 4 months and interest is relatively low overall. For the first 12 months, interest would be 1% and1.5% for the next 12 months. They will have maturity rates of 24-36 months.
According to federal law, all CARES Act funds would have to be spent by the end of the year.