Business resources related to COVID-19

We know that the COVID-19 outbreak is impacting our members and that some of you are seeing a hit to your bottom line. We’re here to help you access the tools, information, and resources you need right now. Our growing list of local, state, and national business resources are here to make things less painful for your companies and organizations.

August 5, 2020: Telecommuting toolkit

Clocking in from your Kitchen Table. We’ve curated the best resources to help you keep business operating as usual, no matter where you and your employees are working from. From updating HR policies to managing remotely, we’re here to make it easier for you to run central command from the home office. 

July 16, 2020: Executive Order D 2020 138
All persons 10 years or older must wear a mask while entering or moving within a public indoor space in the state of Colorado until Sept. 13, 2020.

Guidelines to reopening your business

Download El Paso County Public Health’s practical guidelines to reopening your business and keeping your employees safe and healthy

COVID-19 Workplace Outbreak Guidance from EPC Public Health_June 2020

Download Colorado’s New Normal Framework

Colorado’s Protect Our Neighbor Phase: What to Know

Download Colorado’s Guide to Preventing, Reporting, and Mitigating Workplace Outbreaks

Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade’s (OEDIT) Energize Colorado’s PPE Marketplace

U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Digital Resource Center for Reopening Business

View press release regarding El Paso County Public Health’s approved restaurant variance request here.

COVID-19 Hotline

We want to hear your story and connect you to resources. Please fill out this form to allow us to best connect you to a team member that can listen and assist.

Legal resources

The State of Colorado has partnered with the legal community to create a volunteer program designed to connect attorneys with Colorado businesses in need to help them make informed decisions and get back on their feet.

From financial aid compliance to leasing arrangements and business liability, small businesses across our state face complex challenges. Most small businesses need legal resources and expertise to make informed decisions.

The task force will work with the 15 small business development centers (SBDC) around the state including the Pikes Peak SBDC. The task force is using recent survey data gathered by the SBDC’s to design need-based webinars and match volunteer lawyers to small businesses.

The Colorado Lawyers Committee is matching volunteer attorneys with small businesses in need of assistance. This organization is a nonpartisan consortium of 80 Colorado law firms dedicated to creating and increasing opportunities for children, the poor, and other disadvantaged communities through pro bono legal advocacy, negotiation, and litigation.

According to the Office of State Planning and Budgeting, Colorado’s tourism industry, which supports many of the state’s small businesses, is expected to rebound more slowly than other sectors. By assisting small businesses, the task force hopes to indirectly support the more than 400,000 Coloradans who have filed for unemployment due to the pandemic.

Businesses interested in applying for assistance, or volunteers willing to help, can go to coloradocovidrelief.org.

 

Business reimbursement for Paid Leave tax credit for employee’s impacted by COVID-19

Eligible employers can now use Form 7200, Advance Payment of Employer Credits Due to COVID-19, to request an advance payment of tax credits. Employers must retain records supporting each employee’s leave to substantiate the claim for receiving payment of the advance credit (see How to Claim the Credits on the IRS website).

Unemployment resources

If you are an employer facing hard decisions right now, please consider the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment’s Workshare Program as an alternative to layoffs. The program allows your employees to keep working, but with fewer hours. While an employee is working fewer hours, he or she may be eligible to collect part of his or her regular unemployment benefits. The Pikes Peak Workforce Center’s Rapid Response team can also assist you.

If you are an employee that has been recently laid off, you may be eligible to claim unemployment benefits through the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment. These bi-weekly benefit payments help you focus on your path to reemployment and help lessen the negative impact that unemployment has on the economy. Learn more and start your claim here. Find a full list of FAQs here. Find a layoff-to-employment planner here.

Job resources

We recently launched a new website to help you access resources and job listings available in Colorado Springs. We’re here to help you get back to work. Learn more.

Safeguard your workplace

We all know to wipe down and clean our workspaces in an effort to keep employees and customers safe. Professional mitigation companies, like our following members, can help you with proactive bio-remediation:

Additionally, the El Paso County Environmental Department has the following guidelines:

EPA guidance for disinfecting public places

CDC guidance for reopening businesses after prolonged shutdown

Apply for grant funding

  • El Paso County Regional Relief Business Fund
    El Paso County, with support from the Colorado Enterprise Fund, recently opened a competitive grant application process through the new, multi-million dollar El Paso County Regional Business Relief Fund as part of their Response, Recovery, Resiliency efforts. These grants (up to $20k) will assist small businesses most in need with their business-related costs incurred due to the COVID-19 economic disruption. The application period is open from Aug. 12 – Sept. 7 at 5 PM MST. Learn more and access the application.
  • L3Harris Foundation’s Social Impact Competitive Grant program will provide $500,000 in grants ($25,000 each) to nonprofit organizations in communities where they have a large employee population, including Colorado Springs, by assisting nonprofits serving populations adversely affected by COVID-19. Applications will be accepted until Aug. 26. Awards will be announced in mid-September with fund distribution before Oct. 1, 2020. Learn more and access the application. 
  • Energize CO Gap Fund will provide more than $25 million in small business loans and grants to boost small businesses impacted by COVID-19. Sole proprietors, businesses, and nonprofits with less than 25 full-time employees can apply for up to a $15,000 grant and a $20,000 loan for a possible combined total of $35,000 in financial assistance. The application is scheduled for an Aug. 1, 2020 launch. Sign up to Energize Colorado’s email list to be alerted when the application opens.
    • Eligibility:
      • small business or enterprise – Colorado sole proprietors and registered small businesses including LLCs, S-Corps, and other business types.
      • nonprofit – Colorado nonprofits whose mission and/or programs directly support economic development, small businesses, or tourism. Any eligible Colorado small enterprise is welcome to apply. Priority will be given to the following applicants: majority-owned by black, indigenous, people of color, veterans, or women; in rural areas with a population of fewer than 50,000 people; in the tourism sector; with limited or no access to capital financing or other federal, state or local grants/loans.
        • Energize Colorado recommends you have the following ready to go for your application: bank records, profit and loss statements, tax filings, and expense receipts.
  • The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) is accepting applications for the first grant cycle of the 2021 Advanced Industries Accelerator grant programs. Online applications will be accepted through 5 PM on September 1, 2020, on the OEDIT website.
  • The Colorado COVID Relief Fund will support the needs of communities impacted by COVID-19 in both response and recovery. Organizations helping with the response to COVID-19 can now apply for funds here. The fund will support work in three categories: prevention, impact, and recovery efforts. This will include things like medical and cleaning supplies, food services, early childhood education, small business support, behavioral health services, and more. Learn more at Help Colorado Now.
  • The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, in partnership with Vistaprint and philanthropic donors, recently launched the Save Small Business Fund. It is a grantmaking initiative to offer $5,000 short-term relief to employers across the country. Learn more.

Apply for SBA loans

  1. Paycheck Protection Loan Program
    • The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act allocated $350 billion to help small businesses keep workers employed amid the pandemic and economic downturn. Known as the Paycheck Protection Program, the initiative provides 100% federally guaranteed loans to small businesses that maintain their payroll during this emergency. Importantly, these loans may be forgiven if borrowers maintain their payrolls during the crisis or restore their payrolls afterward. The loan can be up to 2.5 x your average monthly payroll costs, not to exceed $10 million. Review the loan checklist.  April 27: The PPP resumes. Learn more.
  2. Employee Retention Tax Credit
    In addition to the loans, the CARES Act also created a new employee retention tax credit for employers who are closed, partially closed or experiencing significant revenue losses as a result of COVID-19. Learn more about the tax credit here.
  3. Colorado Office of Economic Development & International Trade (OEDIT)
    Separately from the CARES Act, OEDIT has a list of alternative funding sources beyond federal relief programs. See a full the list.

Doing our part to keep our community safe…

Rest assured we are working behind the scenes to expand our educational, networking, and business support programs into virtual platforms. We continue to closely monitor the evolving pandemic and its impact on our signature and networking events. Under Governor Polis’s new guidelines for Safer At Home status, it clearly states that there be “no gathering over 10 people”. Until this changes, we will refrain from any and all physical gatherings of members for the purpose of networking or updating our members on our program of work. All events are currently being delivered in a virtual format.

Government affairs advocacy 

We’re advocating for the resources you need right now at the local, state, and federal levels. Learn more here.

Additional resources include:

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