Show/Hide

Important Updates:

Due to snow, city facilities that have been open despite COVID-19 will open at 10 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 26, 2020. | More Info

Show/Hide

The City of Boulder welcomes your feedback. Use our Inquire Boulder customer service tool to tell us what’s on your mind.

  • Business Portal
  • Economic Vitality
  • Existing Businesses
  • New Businesses
  • Relocating and Expanding Businesses
  • Business Questions
  • Business Licenses and Permits
  • Doing Business With the City

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. 

***New Opportunities***

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 the city's full list of small business information related to COVID-19, visit the city's COVID-19 Business Resource webpage. 

City of Boulder Small Business Grant Program launches Monday, Aug. 31 for local, small businesses impacted by COVID-19
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 Boulder has been recognized as one of the best places to start, grow or sustain a business. The city has 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 city has retained Colorado Enterprise Fund (CEF), a nonprofit community development financial institution, to administer the funding of these small business grants. On Monday morning, Aug. 31, eligible Boulder-based businesses and nonprofits with 100 or fewer employees can find more information, program criteria and the program application on the Boulder Small Business Grant Program webpage on Colorado Enterprise Fund’s website. The online application is available in English and Spanish, and will be open from 8 a.m., Monday, Aug. 31 through 5 p.m., Friday, Sept. 11, 2020. 

Energize Colorado Gap Fund - application launches Monday, August 31!
The Energize Colorado 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 fewer 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 launches on Monday, Aug. 31. Visit the webpage for eligibility information, FAQs, the application, and more. 

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 and Pilot Hill Employee Eco Pass 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

Contacts:
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.