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Small Business Support

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, more than half the U.S. population owns or works for a small business, a sector that creates roughly two-thirds of our country's new jobs each year. That figure is higher in Boulder where more than 80% of the city's businesses have fewer than 20 employees. Boulder's small businesses represent a wide range of industries and contribute greatly to our local economy and quality of life. 

Several city departments, local nonprofits and other organizations work to ensure the success of Boulder's small businesses. 

The economic impacts of COVID-19 have been felt by businesses across the country and here at home. Businesses are a vital part of the Boulder community and the city is committed to providing resources to small businesses. For information and small business resources related to COVID-19, visit the city's COVID-19 Business Resource webpage. 

Boulder Small Business Grant Program provided grants for local, small businesses impacted by COVID-19
The City of Boulder dedicated part of its federal CARES Act funding to create a $675,000 competitive grant opportunity for small, local businesses and nonprofits as they continue to navigate the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The program was open to Boulder-based businesses and noprofits with 100 or fewer employees that met other eligitibily criteria. Grant applications were accepted from Aug. 31 to Sept. 11 and applicants were notified of the status of their application in early October.

Small Business Support provided by the City of Boulder

Business resources through the Boulder Public Library include research assistance, access to databases, online courses and more. Many other city departments serve or source from small businesses. Additional information: Resources and Services
The BLDG 61 makerspace at the main library provides access to workshop space, equipment and classes for entrepreneurs and other community members.
Free technical support to help small businesses achieve sustainability goals in energy, waste, water and transportation is available through the Partners for a Clean Environment (PACE) program. The city also works with small businesses developing new technologies and programs that support sustainability. Examples include the Boulder Energy Challenge and a partnership with Avery Brewing to use brewery waste products in treating wastewater.
Businesses in downtown Boulder or University Hill have access to the Downtown Employee EcoPass program providing free EcoPasses bus passes for full-time employees.

The city's Community Vitality staff provides general information, assistance, and connections; offers business incentive programs; and coordinates with organizations that serve small businesses across Boulder. More information: Business in Boulder

Lane Landrith ([email protected])
Jennifer Pinsonneault ([email protected])
Sarah Wiebenson ([email protected])

The city also hosts the Boulder Small Business Development Center (SBDC), a nonprofit that offers free consulting and low-cost workshops to help startups and small businesses succeed.



Economic Vitality Partners and Programs

The city of Boulder partners with organizations providing assistance to small businesses: 

Boulder Chamber supports businesses through advoacy, networking events, professional development programs and more.
• Boulder Convention and Visitors Bureau provides information on local attractions and lodging, supports local operators, and helps businesses plan group meetings and events in Boulder.
• Boulder Economic Council offers economic and market information and assistance with business formation, expansion and relocation.
• Boulder Independent Business Alliance offers networking opportunities and other services to locally owned, independent businesses in Boulder County.
• Boulder Small Business Development Center (SBDC) provides a wide range of low-cost workshops, confidential one-on-one consulting and connections to resources to help mainstreet and advanced technology businesses grow and succeed. 
• Downtown Boulder Partnership offers information and assistance to businesses in downtown Boulder. • Innosphere is a technology incubator that serves startups and early stage companies in select industries. 
• The Latino Chamber of Boulder County offers support for entrepreneurs and small businesses through networking opportunities, advocacy, professional development and other programs.  

Additional resources and information:  Business Resources and Economic Vitality Partners). 

Boulder Microloan Program

Boulder Microloan Program, a partnership between the city, the Colorado Enterprise fund, and area financial institutions, provides loans to qualifying small businesses and nonprofit organizations in the Boulder area that may not be able to obtain financing through traditional sources.

The program also encourages business ownership and self-employment as a means of economic self-sufficiency for low and moderate-income individuals. Since the program launched in 2009, it has made 121 loans totaling over $4.6 million. Borrowers include restaurants, childcare providers, microbrewers, landscapers and other small businesses in a variety of industries. 

Personal Investment Enterprise (PIE) 

Boulder County's Personal Investment Enterprise (PIE) program offers tools designed to help low-income individuals build assets and start businesses.