COVID-19 Business Resources

COVID-19

We recognize the businesses of Firestone work hard to provide quality goods and services to the community, and COVID continues to present challenges.  This webpage has been revised to provide recent program updates and information, while still providing links to regional and national resources.  If you are not able to locate the information you need, please contact a member of our team for assistance:  

Paula Mehle: 303-531-6265 or pmehle@firestoneco.gov

Michelle Magelssen at 303-531-6263 or mmagelssen@firestoneco.gov

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July 2020

Senate Bill 213 Signed – Restaurants & Bars May Sell Alcohol to Go Through June 2021

Governor Polis has signed a bill that will continue the allowance he set in an executive order that allows restaurants, distilleries and bars to sell alcohol to go or can deliver alcohol to a customer. The bill will allow to go and delivery services to continue until the end of June, 2021. For further details check out Senate Bill 20-213.

Weld County business assistance – property taxes and small business loans

Weld County received state approval “to temporarily reduce, waive, or suspend delinquent interest payments for property tax payments.” HB 20-1421 was signed into law June 14. The bill effectively allows the county commissioners to defer interest payments on delinquent taxes, if those taxes are paid in full by October 1, 2020. In addition, Weld County has committed a portion of the community funds received through the CARES Act to assisting small businesses with affordable loans. Details of the loan program will be provided when available. 

Healthy Families and Workplaces Act (HFWA)

This new law went into effect on July 15. For the remainder of 2020, HFWA requires all employers to comply with the emergency paid sick leave requirements of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). Other provisions of the act do not go into effect until 2021 and 2022 depending on the size of the employer. Additional information is available through the Employers Council

Extension of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Loan Forgiveness Applications

Businesses have until August 8 to apply for a PPP loan through a local financial institution. Loan forgiveness applications and instructions have been published and reflect changes adopted in early June. Additional information is available on the PPP page

SBA reopens Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)

The Small Business Administration has reopened its EIDL program to all small businesses. Loans can be used to pay debts, payroll and other bills — including items not covered in the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Cash advances initially offered under this program are no longer available. Small businesses must apply online before December 31, 2020. Additional information is available on the EIDL page.

Energize Colorado Gap Fund

The fund will provide more than $25 million in small business loans and grants to boost Colorado 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 August 1, 2020 launch. Sign up to Energize Colorado’s email list to be alerted when the application opens.

Lowe’s Small Business Grant Program

The home improvement retailer has increased funding of its grant program for minority–owned and rural small businesses, through a contribution to the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC). Program information and grant applications can be found here. Interested businesses should register to be notified for the next funding round, expected to open July 27, 2020.   

Mask Wearing Information

•    July 16, Governor Polis issued Executive Order D 2020 138 ordering individuals in Colorado to wear a medical or non-medical face covering when entering or moving within any public indoor space. Additional guidance, including a list of people who do not have to wear a mask is provided on the state website.   

•    July 17, the Weld County Board of County Commissioners issued a press release in response to the executive order, which in part states:  “Weld County Commissioners stand firm in their belief that reducing the spread of COVID-19 comes down to personal responsibility, not government mandates. The Weld County Department of Public Health and Environment will not enforce Gov. Polis’ executive order, which has no legal effect, requiring residents to wear non-medical face coverings indoors.”

•    Businesses regulated by the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) can access industry-specific guidance online, or by contacting DORA.

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The combined economic development support agencies of Weld and Larimer counties have launched a COVID response website to serve all businesses within the two counties. Check out NoCo Recovers for programs and services for the region. NoCo Safety Supply was developed through NoCo Recovers is a resource exchange for PPE, cleaning, and safety supplies for businesses and the workplace in response to the increased demand from the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Safer At Home - Open for Business Updates

Guidelines for business operations under COVID are provided on a number of separate websites. This information has been consolidated on the Business Guidelines - Safer at Home webpage. The page bring together the regulatory and guideline materials from various sites within the State of Colorado webpages.

COVID-19 Business Resource Center 

The State of Colorado provides a list of resources that are available to support small businesses, nonprofits, freelancers, and independent contractors.  These include:  

Free Professional Services from volunteers with a wide variety of experience including: consulting, fundraising, graphic design, financial professionals, and legal assistance.  

Sign up for emails from the Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) on assistance program updates, or call the Disaster Response Hotline at 303-860-5881 for assistance and you will be directed to the applicable resource. 

A list of Alternative Sources of Funding is also available to help Colorado small businesses find alternative funding sources beyond EIDL, PPP and other federal loans and programs. 

Colorado_SBDC_LogoThe Colorado Small Business Development Center (SBDC), and specifically the East Colorado office, provide vital resources and guidance for small businesses.  Learn more on the SBDC COVID-19 Information page.

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The U.S. Small Business Administration offers a variety of Coronavirus Relief Options, including:   

•   The low-interest Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) provides loan forgiveness for retaining employees. Application deadline is August 8, 2020.  

•    The Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) is also low-interest to provide economic relief to small businesses and non-profit organizations that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue.  Application deadline is December 31, 2020.  

•    SBA Express Bridge Loans enable small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 quickly.

•    The SBA is providing a financial reprieve to small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic though SBA Debt Relief.

•    SBA Guidance for Businesses and Employers addresses employee health measures and common issues small businesses may encounter such as: capital access, inventory and supply chain shortfalls, changing market demand, and emergency planning exercises for your organization.

Dept_of_TreasuryThe U.S. Treasury Department’s Employee Retention Credit under the CARES Act encourages businesses to keep employees on their payroll.  The fully refundable tax credit for employers is 50% of up to $10,000 in wages paid by an eligible employer whose business has been financially impacted by COVID-19.  A brief overview of this program is provided in What You Need to Know.

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Guidance for Businesses and Workplaces is provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on their website.  Information provided includes: guidance for businesses that are open, Ongoing Mitigation Strategy, Prevention and Support, COVID stakeholder calls and Communication Resources.