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The Latest on COVID-19, Chamber Events and Resources for Your Business

I know we’re all tracking closely the unfolding COVID-19 situation in Colorado, which is changing rapidly. Today we want to provide you with relevant business updates on small business lending, COVID-19 resources, emergency sick leave rules and Chamber operations.

Small Business Resources
Our Denver Metro Small Business Development Center (SBDC) team is working hard to ensure businesses have access to a range of resources to help them navigate this challenging time. In the next week, we will be rolling out remote one-on-one consulting as well as digital programming for our clients. Our consultants and partners, including the state SBDC network and U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), can provide services to assist with disaster loan applications, long-term planning, insurance navigation, physical and economic loss estimates and business preparedness.

The SBA is making available targeted, low-interest disaster recovery loans to small businesses that have been severely impacted by the situation. The State of Colorado is currently working with the SBA to secure access for Colorado businesses and we will share details as soon as they are made available. You can learn more about the SBA’s Coronavirus Disaster Relief Lending here. Additionally, the City and County of Denver is working on a small business support plan. They are looking at the expansion of their current tools as well as leveraging federal assistance as it becomes available. We should have more details this week.

If you’re a small business in need of assistance, please email info@denversbdc.org and we will help connect you with available assistance.

COVID-19 Resources
There are a number of resources online that may be helpful to you and your colleagues.

Chamber Operations
Our commitment to serving our members is as strong as ever. Our team is working remotely at this time. We will reschedule large gatherings including this month’s Net90, which was scheduled for Wednesday, as well as the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation Annual Meeting that was planned for March 24. Below is a list of meetings this month that are moving virtual.

  • Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation Board of Directors, March 18
  • EDC Executive Committee, March 19
  • Chamber Infrastructure Committee Meeting, March 20

All SBDC programs for this week are postponed.

Meetings will be hosted virtually, so please be on the lookout for webinar or conference call details for your meetings with us. While meetings may look a little different in the coming weeks, we will continue to serve our members in every way we can. If you have any questions, please reach out to us at info@denverchamber.org.

Emergency Sick Leave
As you saw last week, Governor Polis declared a state of emergency for Colorado and triggered emergency rule making by the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment.

CDLE published the Colorado Health Emergency Leave with Pay Rules on March 11. The rules require that employers provide up to four days of paid sick for employees being tested for COVID-19 in select industries: leisure and hospitality; food services; child care; education, including transportation, food service and related work at educational establishments; home health, if working with elderly, disabled, ill, or otherwise high-risk individuals; and nursing homes and community living facilities.

The requirement is not on top of sick leave an employer already provides and does not cover wage replacement should an employee test positive and require quarantine resulting in lost work time and wages. Other wage replacement options are still under review by CDLE and we will keep you up to date as we learn more. We want to make sure you are aware of all resources available, as we realize this mandate may be difficult for many employers.

Read the FAQs.

Stay in touch
We will keep our members informed as often as needed to ensure we’re providing you with what you need to navigate this challenge. If you have any questions, please reach out to us at info@denverchamber.org.

Kelly Brough is the president and CEO of the Denver Metro Chamber.