Colorado Small Businesses Can Apply for SBA Loans
Colorado small businesses can begin applying for low-interest federal disaster loans through the Small Business Administration (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Program. The state received its declaration today, making these loans available. Eligible entities can receive loans up to $2 million, and interest rates would be no higher than 3.75%.
We are also seeking assistance from banks and lending professionals who would be willing to help small businesses through the lending process. Please email email@example.com if you or your business can help.
Learn more about these loans or apply directly at disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.
State Launches Relief Fund
Yesterday, Governor Polis announced the launch of the Colorado Relief Fund to help communities through the COVID-19 crisis.
Mile High United Way and the State of Colorado are operating the fund together with help from community leaders statewide. Funds will provide resources to organizations working in communities disproportionately impacted by the outbreak.
Bank of America, Morgridge Family Foundation and Wells Fargo are underwriting the fees of processing contributions, and several Chamber members are among the organizations to contribute so far. These include Bank of America, Delta Dental Foundation, FirstBank, Rose Community Foundation, The Denver Foundation, Wells Fargo and Xcel Energy. Donate today.
The state also set up a “Help Colorado Now” website at covrn.com, where you can find volunteer opportunities, lists of needed items and links to donate. Tips for staying healthy while volunteering are available at Spark the Change Colorado.
Other Recent State and City Announcements
- Gov. Polis declared that public and private schools will be closed to in-person learning through April 17. Read the press release.
- The Colorado Department of Health and Environment issued a public health order to limit gatherings to no more than 10 people, effective March 19.
State and Other Online Resources
The state launched a COVID-19 website at covid19.colorado.gov to help employers, employees and their families. Here are some state and other resources we’ve found:
- Learn about child care resources for health care workers and others providing essential services.
- Read about state-mandated emergency paid sick leave.
- Learn how to file an unemployment claim.
- Find out whether you or your employees qualify for the state’s Work Share Program.
- Find out about mental health resources for you or loved ones through Mental Health Colorado.
- Read the Colorado Tourism Office’s travel precautions and impacts to the tourism industry.
- See tips and resources for the manufacturing industry from Manufacturer’s Edge.
- Read the state’s tips for effectively cleaning your business.
See a more complete list of resources on the Chamber’s COVID website at denverchamber.org/COVID.
President Signs Federal Relief Bill
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act passed the Senate and was signed by President Trump on Wednesday. Under the legislation, employers with 500 or fewer employees will be required to provide employees who have worked for them for at least a month with:
- Two weeks of paid sick leave at 100% of the person’s normal salary, or up to $511 per day.
- Up to 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave at 67% of the person’s normal pay, or up to $200 per day.
The two weeks of paid sick leave apply to anyone:
- Told to quarantine.
- Showing symptoms.
- Exposed to the virus.
- Trying to get a test or preventive care.
Part-time workers are eligible, but businesses with fewer than 50 employees, health care providers and emergency responders may be exempted by the U.S. Labor Department.
The bill provides a tax credit to help cover the costs and the credit is applied to the tax the company or nonprofit normally pays for each employee’s Social Security. If the leave ends up costing more than the Social Security bill, the U.S. government will send the employer a check to cover the remaining costs.
Independent contractors who work for multiple employers are eligible for a tax credit of up to two weeks of sick pay at their average pay and 12 weeks of family leave pay at two-thirds their normal rate with the same caps as mentioned above. These workers must show they had to comply with a self-isolation recommendation or that they had to care for a child whose school closed due to the coronavirus.
The bill also provides funding for various food assistance programs and efforts to stabilize and increase access to unemployment insurance.
We are tracking other developments at the state and federal levels for disaster assistance and will keep you up to date. In the meantime, let’s help reduce the spread by washing our hands, not touching our faces and isolating from others.
Kelly Brough is president and CEO of the Denver Metro Chamber.