COVID-19 Business Resources

COVID-19Our business community works hard daily and the current COVID-19 environment makes it especially challenging.  Please find a variety of resources for businesses related specifically to today’s current conditions below.  

As more resources become available this page will be updated.  

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Colorado Small Business Development Center (SBDC)

The Colorado SBDC, and specifically the East Colorado office, is available to assist businesses. During this epidemic the SBDC is a vital resource to guidance and resources for small businesses. The East Colorado SBDC office will assist Firestone businesses through the various financial aid programs becoming available, including the SBA disaster relief programs. 

Small Business Response Resources Website
The SBDC is maintaining the most up to date information on all the Federal programs, including common questions businesses have related to each of the programs offered by the SBA, Treasury Department, IRS, and Department of Labor. In addition, this SBDC site has connections to the variety of Statewide resources, employment topics and programs, and information specifically for manufacturer’s, restaurants, and artists. There is also great resources for bookkeeping, finances, and working remotely. 

Contact the East Colorado SBDC directly at 970-351-4274 or email info@eastcoloradosbdc.com for direct and personal business assistance. If you are an existing client of SBDC please reach to your adviser. 

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U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)

SBA DISASTER ASSISTANCE RESPONSE

The U.S. Small Business Administration programs are evolving daily in response to the COVID-19 epidemic.  The SBA website has been experiencing significant activity, if the site is down please try to access later, or between the hours of 7 pm to 7 am.  

Various representatives from the SBA recommend filing for SBA programs as soon as possible. If approved you are not required to accept the program offer. 

A comprehensive guide to the CARES Act has been developed by the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship

Paycheck Protection Program

Small businesses, eligible nonprofit organizations and individuals who are self-employed or are independent contractors, are eligible for the Paycheck Protection Program loan/grant. Eligible recipients may qualify for a loan up to $10 million determined by 8 weeks of prior average payroll plus and additional 25% of that amount; loan payments will be deferred for six months; if you maintain your workforce, SBA will forgive the portion of the loan proceeds that are used to cover the first 8 weeks of payroll and certain other expenses following loan origination. Click here for further details including quick program facts, qualified banks, and application.

SBA Debt Relief

The SBA Debt Relief program will provide immediate relief to small businesses with non-disaster SBA loans, in particular 7(a), 504, and microloans. Under it, SBA will cover all loan payments on these SBA loans, including principal, interest and fees, for six months. this relief will also be available to be new borrowers who take out loans within 6 months of the President signing the bill into law. For additional FAQ’s on this program check out the Small Business Response Resource Website hosted by the SBDC.

SBA Express Bridge Loans

Express Bridge Loan Pilot Program allows small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 with less paperwork. These loans can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing and can be a term loans or used to bridge the gap while applying for a direct SBA Economic Injury Disaster loan. If a small business has an urgent need for cash while waiting for decision and disbursement on Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL), they may qualify for an SBA Express Disaster Bridge Loan.

Terms: Up to $25,000; Fast turnaround; and will be repaid in full or in part by proceeds from the EIDL loan

Find an Express Bridge Loan Lender via SBA’s Lender Match Tool

Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) offers low-interest federal disaster loans to small businesses in designated areas suffering economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus. The SBA is encouraging businesses to complete the application for the U.S. SBA Disaster Loan while seeking other lines of credit from other sources, including the SBA Express Bridge Loan (details below). Eligible entities may qualify for loans up to $2 million. A $10,000 advance on the loan* is available to help businesses as well. The interest rates for this disaster are 3.75% for small businesses and 2.75% for non-profit organizations with terms up to 30 years. Eligibility for these working capital loans are based on the size and type of business and its financial resources.

Click here for further details on this program as well as applications.

Additional business resources:

The 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.

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U.S. Treasury Department

Employee Retention Credit

The Employee Retention Credit is a fully refundable tax credit for employers equal to 50 percent of qualified wages (including allocable qualified health plan expenses) that Eligible Employers pay their employees. This Employee Retention Credit applies to qualified wages paid after March 12, 2020, and before January 1, 2021. The maximum amount qualified wages taken into account with respect to each employee for all calendar quarters is $10,000, so that the maximum credit for an Eligible Employer for qualified wages paid to any employee is $5,000. 

The U.S. Treasury Department has published a  great 2 page document on What You Need to Know for this program. Additional information is available on the Employee Retention Credit from the IRS

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State of Colorado

Critical Business Information

The State of Colorado has identified which businesses are deemed critical during the Stay in Place order. Details on critical business restrictions may be found here. Additionally businesses concerned about employees being questioned about their travels to/from work or delivering may complete a Self Certification document.

Eviction Assistance 

An Executive Order has been issued in regards to limiting evictions, foreclosures, and public utility disconnections. If your business is facing eviction, reach out to the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) for assistance. 

Layoff Assistance

The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment has a Layoff Assistance page that outlines programs and resources to help business owners make difficult decisions around laying off employees.

Free Child Care Program

Free Child Care is available to workers in the grocery, food processing, construction and health care industries. Tuition will be fully funded through May 17, 2020. For further details please click here.

Additional details on State programs is available from the Office of Economic Development and International Trade.

OEDIT Disaster Response Hotline 303-860-5881

Call with any questions you may have and you will be directed to the applicable resource. Open Monday - Friday 8 am - 5 pm

Sign up for emails from the Office of Economic Development and International Trade on announcements of business assistance programs as they are released. 

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

The Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers includes current information on COVID-19, recommended strategies for employers, outbreak planning considerations, and response planning for businesses with other additional resource links. 

CDC-Keeping the Workplace Safe offers additional material on how to protect business owners, employees, and customers.

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DisasterAssistance.gov

DisasterAssistance.gov provides disaster survivors with information, support, services, and a means to access and apply for disaster assistance through joint data-sharing efforts between federal, tribal, state, local, and private sector partners.

Moving Forward from DisasterAssistance.gov is a guide that includes information that can help your business after a disaster. Businesses may learn about financial assistance as well as other resources that can help a business recover. 

Additional Funding Programs and Tool

There are many organizations and agencies wanting to support our business community. As more programs are developed please visit the Additional COVID-19 Financial Programs page.

Additional Useful Business Resources

  • The Carbon Valley Chamber of Commerce is a resource for business support programs as well as marketing of our Carbon Valley businesses, members and non-members alike.  You are encouraged to check out the Carbon Valley Chamber of Commerce website and Facebook page for daily announcements, promotions and events.
  • The Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) has direct links to the variety of State programs and decisions affecting the business community. Have questions and need the answered now? Call the OEDIT COVID-19 HOTLINE (8:00 AM TO 5:00 PM): 303-860-5881
  • Employment Services of Weld County is available to assist employers and employees with job postings, training, and other services. 
  • The Manufacturer’s Edge COVID-19 Resources page is being updated daily to create as thorough of a list of contacts, press releases, announcements, tools, and resources for manufacturers. The agency is available to assist businesses individually via phone, text, or email. Please email info@manufacturersedge.com or call/text the help line at 720.647.3766. The site includes links regarding ability for manufactures to assist with PPE requests.
  • The IRS has deferred the deadline to FILE and PAY federal income taxes to July 15, 2020. Check out the IRS Coronavirus Tax Relief page for updated details. 
  • Employer’s Council Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guide offers employer information on human resources and other legal considerations. 
  • Review the Know Your Finances Checklist as it may help you secure your business’ financial well-being. The form will ask you if you have consider about a line of credit for your business? What are your procedures to accommodate a potential business disruption? 
  • Check out the Prevent Business Disruption page of DisasterSafety.org for forms to help you evaluate and prepare for a disaster.
  • The National Restaurant Association has many resources particularly for restaurants to address the Coronavirus event. 
  • Check with your insurance provider for a disaster planning toolkit, losses of business income implications, worker compensation, and more
  • The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has a Coronavirus Emergency Loans Guide and Checklist for Small Businesses and Nonprofits to help businesses understand if they are eligible for SBA programs, what lenders are looking for, how much may be borrowed and if a loan may be forgiven.