Denver Releases Initial Economic Relief Package
Yesterday, the City and County of Denver announced an initial $4 million relief package to help small businesses affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. The package offers several resources for businesses and workers:
- An emergency relief program to provide cash grants of as much as $7,500 to highly impacted businesses, such as restaurants, that may have laid off workers, are struggling to pay rent and utilities, or are temporarily closed. Denver Economic Development and Opportunity (DEDO) is overseeing the fund. Apply for emergency relief.
- An existing microloan program to help small businesses’ stabilization efforts. Current recipients of these loans will be able to temporarily defer loan payments if they need to. DEDO, in partnership with CEDS Finance, operates the program. Find out about microloans.
- Cash grants and a microloan program through a partnership between Mile High United Way and Downtown Denver Partnership. The organizations are also seeking donations from the business community to help small businesses during this time. Find out how to apply for funds or donate.
- Grants of as much as $1,000 to help individual artists who are losing income due to the cancellation of events, classes, performances and other work. Priority will be for low-income artists and artists who have no other income source. The grants will be offered through the existing IMAGINE 2020 Artist Assistance Fund, Denver Arts & Venues. Learn more about the Artist Assistance Fund.
- No 15% penalty for late payment of February and March sales, use and occupational privilege taxes due March 20 and April 20. Businesses still must file a return and remit funds within 30 days of the due date.
- Free parking meters and no vehicles will be booted for the next 30 days.
In addition, the city’s Workforce Centers are offering support to jobseekers online, by phone and via email while the centers are physically closed. Job fairs are going virtual, so jobseekers can access the same job opportunities as they would have been able to do in person. Contact the city’s Workforce Services.
Learn more about the City and County of Denver’s resources for businesses.
Colorado Small Businesses Can Apply for Disaster Loans
Colorado received its declaration Thursday from the Small Business Administration to allow small businesses affected by the COVID-19 outbreak to apply for low-interest federal disaster loans. Learn more about these loans or apply directly at disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.
- On Thursday, Gov. Polis added non-essential personal services, such as nail and hair salons, spas and tattoo parlors, and horse tracks and off-track betting facilities to the closure list and extended the closures through April 30. Read the public health order.
- Connect for Health Colorado has opened an emergency special enrollment period from March 20 to April 3 to help Coloradans who are uninsured or about to lose their insurance. Learn more.
- The federal and state governments announced today that the deadline to file income taxes would be postponed from April 15 to July 15. Read more in The Denver Post.
Health Care Perspectives
- Read about how to help health care workers in an op-ed by UCHealth President and CEO Elizabeth Concordia in The Denver Post.
Kelly Brough is president and CEO of the Denver Metro Chamber.