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.

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

Download Colorado’s New Normal Framework

Download Colorado’s Guidelines for Salons, Spas, and Sole Practitioners of Personal Services 

Download Colorado’s Safer-at-Home Guidelines and Resources 

Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade’s (OEDIT) Energize Colorado’s re-opening documents and more

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.

Apply for grant funding

  • The Pikes Peak Community Foundation’s Emergency Relief Fund is available to nonprofits impacted by COVID-19. Apply for funding or consider a gift.
  • The Pikes Peak Enterprise Zone (EZ) Business Relief Fund awarded $900,000 in grants, impacting 128 small businesses as part of the Pikes Peak Enterprise Zone (EZ) Small Business Relief Fund. The grants were made possible by the generous donations of citizens in the amount of $31,460. Under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Stability Act (CARES Act), El Paso County allocated an additional $866,660 in federal dollars to support the economic recovery of small businesses throughout the county. The average award was $7,016, with requests ranging from $2,000 to $7,500. Additional information about the program can be made may be found here. Find a fact sheet about the fund here. Full press release on the $900,000 awarded to small businesses is here.
    • Support the Pikes Peak Enterprise Zone with a donation here
  • Survive & Thrive COS provides recovery funding, mentoring and other resources to increase the sustainability and future growth of small businesses based in the Pikes Peak region. The initiative is a partnership between startup accelerator Exponential Impact and the Pikes Peak Community Foundation. Small businesses employing 2 to 25 employees can learn about criteria and apply for help here.
  • Artist Recovery Fund provides emergency support for individual artists and creative professionals in El Paso and Teller Counties who are being adversely affected due to cancellation of performances, art openings, lessons or other revenue-generating artistic activity due to COVID-19. The artist Recovery Fund will provide approximately $500 to cover the most immediate and essential expenses. The Fund is also seeking financial contributions to support its efforts, and all donations are tax-deductible and 100% of contributions will go directly to supporting local artists in need. The fund is a partnership between the Pikes Peak Community Foundation and Bee Vradenburg Foundation.
  • 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 National Endowment of the Arts (NEA) announced the availability of $45 million in CARES Act authorized funding as one-time grants for eligible nonprofit organizations, including units of state or local government that have been awarded a NEA grant in the past four years in order to support art organizations and their employees through the economic hardships of the coronavirus. Funding will specifically be used for salary support, fees for artists and contractual personnel to maintain art engagement and costs of facilities including rent and utilities. Applications will be due on April 22, and NEA expects to announce these awards by the end of June. More information can be found here.
  • 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.
  • Manufacturers: apply for state training funds for employee re-skilling and upskilling training efforts through Colorado First and Existing Industry grants.  Learn more. 

Apply for SBA loans

There are three primary loans designed for small businesses included in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act:

  1. SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program.
    • The SBA assistance provides low-interest federal loans for working capital to small businesses that have realized economic injury from COVID-19. The maximum Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) is a $2 million working capital loan at a rate of 3.75% for businesses and a 2.75% for nonprofits with up to a 30-year term. Payments are deferred for up to one year. April 15: EIDL program is officially out of funds and no longer accepting applications due to a lapse in appropriations. Applications will be considered in the order, in which they were received. Learn more.
  2. SBA Bridge Loan Pilot Program
    • The SBA Bridge Loan is important for businesses that have an existing SBA loan and need short-term capital to maintain business operations, allowing businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 with less paperwork. These loans help overcome the temporary loss of revenue and can be term loans or used to bridge the gap while applying for a direct SBA Economic Injury Disaster loan. If you have an urgent need for cash while waiting for decision and disbursement on Economic Injury Disaster Loan, you may qualify for an SBA Express Disaster Bridge Loan.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

 

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.

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

Food and beverage industry resources

Restaurants can now provide dining-in options with restrictions. See full press release, along with guidelines and restrictions here.

 El Paso County Public Health is temporarily permitting retail food establishments to sell and donate raw and bulk food items to the public. This guidance allows restaurants to electively provide these services to the community and afford alternative financial and employment viability during this health crisis. See a copy of the county’s letter to retail food establishments outlining the permissions here.

The following goods may be sold or donated:

  • Household goods such as paper products and cleaning supplies
  • Non-perishable foods in original packaging
  • Unopened perishable foods such as milk, dairy, raw meats, and eggs

For a more detailed list of allowable products please see their reference guide.

We are working with Community Health Partnership on this effort. You can now sell or donate goods by emailing [email protected] or calling 719-389-9800. Send an email or leave a voicemail that includes:

  • Establishment name
  • POC name, email, and phone number
  • List of products available for donation or sale (please include cost, qty, and indicate if an item is available to be donated)

Healthcare industry resources

The Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies is expediting licensing to increase workforce capacity, and temporary suspension of the application of laws, rules, and policies that will allow the state to expand its testing capacity for Coronavirus and ensure ongoing business continuity in the delivery of healthcare services. Provisions include:

  • Waiving licensing requirements and rules to allow for late renewals as well as reinstatements and reactivations during the emergency period of volunteer nurses and qualified licensed providers from out of state.
  • Waiving limitations on clinical instruction via simulation.
  • Expanding the scope of practice for physician assistants and nurses.
  • Waiving requirements of endorsement for qualified out-of-state professionals.
  • Expanding opportunities for telemedicine.
  • Granting pharmacists the ability to conduct screening tests in pharmacies and other testing centers.
  • Allowing pharmacists to administer vaccines.

Find additional details here.

Help the healthcare industry out right now.
Exchange information, ideas, and resources. Create a profile and post now to share what you have, contribute your expertise, and ask questions of other life sciences professionals. Learn more: Colorado Life Sciences Connection Center.

 

Manufacturing resources

The National Association of Manufacturers COVID-19 resources page provides industry-specific information to keep your team safe. OSHA has also released a new poster listing steps all workplaces can take to reduce the risk of exposure to the coronavirus.

Businesses helping businesses

We’re in this together, and many local businesses are stepping up to help you.


Senior resources


Working parent resources

Found a great resource that is not on our list? Send it our way so we can share it here. We’re all in this together.

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 through June 30 will be 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.

Survey results

We partnered with the City of Colorado Springs, Colorado Springs Utilities, Downtown Partnership of Colorado Springs, El Paso County, Pikes Peak Community Foundation, Pikes Peak Small Business Development Center, Pikes Peak Workforce Center, and VisitCOS to assess the impact of COVID-19 on our local business community. Click here for results.

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