Coronavirus Business Resources
The city’s Community Vitality Department is working with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC), Boulder Chamber, Boulder Convention & Visitors Bureau, Downtown Boulder Partnership, Latino Chamber of Boulder County, Boulder County and other partner organizations to appreciate, anticipate and appropriately respond to short- and long-term business needs. Information and resources for businesses impacted by the novel coronavirus will be shared here, as they are developed.
Feb. 23, 2021 - Priority window for PPP loans for organizations with fewer than 20 employees opened Feb. 24 and closes March 9
Over 36,000 PPP loans totaling nearly $2.9 billion have already been approved for Colorado small businesses since January 2021. The SBA made recent changes to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to further promote equitable relief for America’s small businesses. This 14-day application period (closes on March 9) is exclusively for businesses and nonprofits with fewer than 20 employees and allows sole proprietors, independent contractors, and self-employed individuals to receive more financial support by revising the PPP's funding formula for these categories of applicants. The priority window program also ensures access for non-citizen small business owners who are lawful U.S. residents by clarifying that they may use Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) to apply for the PPP. Borrowers can apply for the PPP by downloading the First Draw PPP loan application or Second Draw PPP loan application. The Boulder SBDC is keeping a local list of participating lending institutions. More information about this priority window PPP loan application program for small businesses can be found in the Small Business Administration announcement on the SBA webpage.
Feb. 6, 2021 -
Boulder County has moved to a less restrictive level on the state’s COVID-19 dial, “Level Yellow: Concern,” as of Feb. 6. This move results in a transition to loosened capacity restrictions in Boulder County for offices, retail, restaurants and other types of businesses and facilities. Please review the capacity restrictions chart for more information. Under Level Yellow, community members are still advised to avoid gatherings, wear masks when in public, and wash hands frequently.
Feb. 5, 2021 - 5 Star Business Variance Program applications open The Boulder County 5 Star Administrative Committee has opened applications for the 5 Star Certification Program. More information, including the application link and resources, is available on Boulder County’s 5 Star Certification Program website.
The federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is now open for new borrowers and certain existing PPP borrowers. The Boulder SBDC offers more information on the Paycheck Protection Program, a recorded webinar on how to access new funding for small businesses, PPP videos in English and Spanish, and list of participating lending institutions.
Jan. 29, 2021 - Boulder County gets approval for 5 Star Business Variance Program; volunteers needed
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) has approved Boulder County's application for the state’s Five Star variance program. The Colorado 5 Star Certification Program is designed to allow certified businesses (inspected and compliant with the program’s criteria) to operate one level below the county’s current state COVID dial level if the county meets four specific benchmarks of COVID-19 impact in the county. For a business to qualify for the program, it must demonstrate that it has implemented all the required public health measures to help protect customers and staff from contracting COVID-19 and be inspected by the 5 Star program staff. A webinar for businesses to learn about the process and ask questions was held Feb. 5. More information, in both English and Spanish, is posted on Boulder County’s 5 Star Certification Program website.
Jan. 21, 2021 - Boulder Business Recovery Program extended through October 2021
The City of Boulder recognizes COVID-19’s significant impact on local businesses. In response to the pandemic, the city created the Boulder Business Recovery Program, enabling businesses to expand outside to help offset capacity limits put in place under the state’s Dial Framework Tracking. This citywide program aims to help businesses stay open by extending outdoor expansion program options through Oct. 31, 2021 or whenever indoor capacity restrictions are lifted. The program allows for colder weather outdoor expansion with temporary structures and heating elements to make being outdoors more comfortable. Visit the Boulder Business Recovery webpage for the application, the map of locations already participating Frequently Asked Questions and more information.
Jan. 20, 2021 - City funding has run out for free delivery via Nosh Boulder from local restaurants; Nosh still benefits local restaurants by capping their delivery fees
CARES Act funding for the delivery fees subsidy for local Boulder restaurants through Nosh Boulder has run out, and delivery fees are now being charged to customers, however, Nosh Boulder continues to cap the restaurant portion of delivery fees at 15% through 2021 or until indoor dining restrictions are lifted. Using Nosh Boulder for delivery while dining safer at home continues to benefit local restaurants more than other third party delivery vendors. Please visit Nosh Boulder, to see the list of Boulder restaurants available for delivery. The Nosh Boulder app is available in the Apple App Store and in the Google Play Store.
State of Colorado Public Health Order 20-36 - COVID-19 dial
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) released a public health order on Nov. 2, 2020 with streamlined guidance and clarification on the dial framework. The new public health order is similar to past orders, but integrates Protect Our Neighbors, Safer at Home, and Stay at Home orders together, and makes a series of technical updates requested by stakeholders. Learn more on this updated capacity chart for all 5 levels. View Boulder County's Dial Framework Tracking.
Sector-by-Sector guidance for businesses from the State of Colorado: guidance-by-sector
Boulder Business Recovery Program: Curbside Pick-Up Zone Program
As part of its efforts to support local businesses recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Boulder is offering a Curbside Pick-Up Zone program, which will operate through Oct. 31, 2021, or whenever indoor capacity restrictions are lifted. The program converts some existing loading zones and other parking spaces in downtown Boulder and on University Hill for general curbside pick-up use. The program also provides an online application for new curbside pick-up zones for businesses that are not in the vicinity of an existing zone. These curbside pick-up zones will be free of charge for 10 minutes to provide patrons and services enough time to pick-up orders, and will be clearly signed in English and Spanish.
Working under Boulder County Public Health orders
Visit Boulder County's COVID-19 business resources website for guidance on reopening, including specific checklists for business sectors. View Boulder County's Dial Framework Tracking.
- Boulder County COVID-19 Outbreak Guidance
- Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment COVID-19 Outbreak Reporting Form for Businesses
Businesses must have a "Mask Required to Enter" or "Do Not Enter Without a Mask" sign on the door (retail, restaurants, personal services, offices, manufacturing, limited healthcare, etc.). Colorado "Mask Required to Enter" sign (8.5" x 11") in blue, in red, (in Spanish) Letrero de tapabocas obligatorios (8.5 x 11) Azul | Rojo
Signage for businesses to post in Safer at Home phase
All signs can be printed at 8.5” x 11.” Included in these signs is a “We Are Open” sign that lets others know you are complying with the Boulder County and State of Colorado requirements for “Safer at Home.” Please do a self-check using Boulder County's checklists for businesses and display a sign in your window.
- General Best Practices English
- General Best Practices Spanish
- Construction worksite safety Spanish
- Construction worksite safety English
- Restaurants Spanish
- Restaurants English (Created based on the guidance provided by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.)
Additional resources and information
- The Energize Colorado Gap Fund provided more than $25 million in small business grants to more than 2,000 Colorado small businesses impacted by COVID-19. All grants have been distributed at this time and loans will be distributed in early 2021. The Gap Fund is currently fundraising for a third round of small business assistance in 2021.
- Available Federal Grants and Loans - information including FAQs and links to applications for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL), Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), SBA Express Bridge Loans, Small Business Debt Relief Program, and additional debt relief
- Boulder Small Business Development Center (SBDC) - information and assistance including webinars on a wide range of business topics, connections to funding and other resources, and one-on-one consulting
- Small Business Administration (SBA) Guidance and Loan Resources - information on federal CARES Act
- State of Colorado COVID-19 Business Resource Center - information on state and federal assistance programs for small businesses
- Infographic Comparison of Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) and Payroll Protection Program (PPP) Loans
- [link id="51606" text="Colorado Work-Share Program and other alternatives to layoffs
- Resources for Artists and Cultural Nonprofits, Colorado Creative Industries
- Federal programs specific to the arts sector
- The City of Boulder Office of Arts and Culture newsletter is now featuring weekly updates of resources and opportunities.
- Free weekly webinars: Keeping Your Business Together in a Crisis - Recorded session topics include Financial Health, Defensive Marketing, The Big Picture, Alternative Funding, Commercial Lease Tactics & Negotiation Strategies, Opening Again, Spending Your PPP Money, Discovering Opportunities with Government Contracting and many more.
- Boulder Chamber – COVID-19 Business and Community Resources
- City of Boulder Small Business Grant Program approved 201 grants totaling more than $675,000; applicants notified in October. The city 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 nonprofits with 100 or fewer employees that met other eligibility criteria. Grant applications were accepted from Aug. 31 to Sept. 11 and applicants were notified of the status of their application in early October.
- Boulder SBDC – answers to questions about impacts of COVID-19 and resources that may help including SBA low-interest loans and others
- Downtown Boulder Partnership - #Love the Local
- Latino Chamber of Boulder County – COVID-19 Local Information and Resources
- City of Boulder – Small Business Support
- 2021 COVID-19 Paycheck Protection Program Lending List
- COVID-19 information and guidance for businesses - Boulder County
- Public Health Guidance for Businesses and Community - Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment
- Guidance for Businesses and Employers - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- Resources for Retail Food Establishments - Boulder County
- Construction Worksite Safety guidelines
- Construction Worksite Safety guidelines for developers
- Steps for refreshing water in reopened buildings - City of Boulder
- For many resources for individuals and families, please visit the tab at the top of this page, called "Resources," under the Coronavirus image block. The City of Boulder is carefully tracking the needs of our community members relating to impacts from the COVID-19 coronavirus. This work is occurring in close coordination with Boulder County and the many community partners that provide services meeting the basic needs of the community. The link below, "COVID-19 Basic Needs Services Guide," is a summary of programs provided by the City of Boulder, Boulder County and key community partner agencies. Note that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Department has determined that the use of COVID-19 public resources will not be counted against immigrants who are subject to “public charge” grounds of inadmissibility when applying for Green Cards.
- Access the COVID-19 Basic Needs Services Guide . Updated 5/4/2020
- Access to temporary job opportunities - Connecting Colorado webpage.
- OnwardCO: One-stop resource for the people of Colorado impacted by job loss during the COVID-19 pandemic