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.
Dec. 3 - Thank you, Boulder! The Retail S.O.S. / Bonus Bucks Program to support local retailers has sold out in record time!
The City of Boulder launched Retail S.O.S. to assist small retail businesses and incentivize local shopping this holiday season, and the program has sold out of available funding in less than one week, and is now over. The Retail S.O.S. program resulted in more than $250,000 of gift card/bonus cards to be used by shoppers at more than 80 participating local Boulder retail businesses! The Retail S.O.S. program provided for the purchase of Boulder e-gift cards, and gift card purchasers received a free $25 Boulder Bonus Bucks card for every $25 spent in purchased Boulder gift cards, up to $100 per person. (Limit of four $25 Boulder Bonus Bucks cards per purchaser). The Retail S.O.S. Boulder Gift Card web portal is now deactivated for gift card purchases as the funding for the matching bonus bucks has run out. Boulder Bonus Bucks cards must be spent at participating retailers by end of day Dec. 30, 2020! Boulder gift cards do not have an expiration date. Please see this page for FAQs or frequently asked questions about the program. The city used allocated federal CARES Act funds to pay for the matching Bonus Bucks cards, valid at participating retailers through Dec. 30, 2020, the deadline CARES Act funds spending. The gift cards purchased do not expire and you can continue to use them at participating retailers.
Nov. 19 - Boulder County moves to Level Red: Severe Risk on Colorado's dial framework for COVID-19 effective Friday, Nov. 20 at 5 p.m.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment announced that Boulder County moved to a more restrictive “Level Red: Severe Risk,” effective Friday, Nov. 20, at 5 p.m. This transition from Level Orange: High Risk results in new capacity restrictions in Boulder County for offices, retail, restaurants and a variety of other types of businesses and facilities. Under Level Red, community members should stay home as much as possible, and public and private gatherings are limited to one household. The county must be able to meet and hold certain metrics based on number of new COVID-19 cases, percent positivity and the impact on hospitals in order to move back to less restrictive levels.
Nov. 12 - City launches Restaurant S.O.S. (Safe Ordering Service) helping Boulderites support local restaurants and enjoy food safer at home
The City of Boulder launched a program to assist local restaurants and incentivize residents to support their favorite restaurants with delivery meals to enjoy food safer at home. The program, called Restaurant S.O.S. (Safe Ordering Service), is structured to have the city pay the restaurant portion of third-party delivery fees and contracting with Nosh Boulder for a maximum cap of 15% fees. The city will use a portion of allocated federal CARES Act funding to pay the restaurant’s portion of the delivery fees, allowing local restaurants to retain more of the operating cost and profit for delivered meals. The program runs from Nov. 12 through Dec. 30, 2020. For more information about Nosh Boulder, please visit their webpage, boulder.noshdelivery.co. For more program details for both restaurants and for the general public, please visit our frequently asked questions (FAQs) in both English English and in Spanish . Restaurants can sign up with Nosh Boulder on their restaurant sign-up form. 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 new 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 it 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.
State Winter Outdoor Grant Program application process for restaurants is now open: Governor Jared Polis, in partnership with the Colorado Restaurant Association (CRA), the Colorado Restaurant Foundation, and Xcel Energy, announced that applications are open for the Winter Outdoor Grant Program, which will provide funds to restaurants to winterize patio space for outdoor dining .
Boulder Business Recovery Program announces winter outdoor expansion enhancements through February 2021 -- applications are open!
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 Safer at Home order. The latest version of this citywide program aims to help businesses stay open this winter by enhancing the outdoor expansion through Feb. 28, 2021. The winter extension makes room for temporary structures and heating elements to make being outdoors more comfortable when the temperature drops. Visit the Boulder Business Recovery webpage for the application, the map of locations already participating Frequently Asked Questions and more information.
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 Feb. 28, 2021, a date which may be extended. 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.
Keeping Your Business Together in a Crisis, a free webinar series offered by the Boulder Small Business Development Center, provides information, ideas, and tools businesses can use to become stronger and more resilient. Full series is available on the Boulder SBDC website .
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.
- View virtual education sessions for businesses to transition to the Safer at Home phase.
- 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 is providing 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 may apply for up to a $15,000 grant and a $20,000 loan for a possible combined total of $35,000 in financial assistance.
- SBA and Treasury Paycheck Protection (PPP) Loan Forgiveness Application and Instructions released May 15 include options for borrowers to calculate payroll costs using an "alternative payroll covered period" that aligns with borrowers' regular payroll cycles; flexibility to include eligible payroll and non-payroll expenses paid or incurred during the eight-week period after receiving their PPP loan; step-by-step instructions on how to perform the calculations required by the CARES Act to confirm eligibility for loan forgiveness; borrower-friendly implementation of statutory exemptions from loan forgiveness based on rehiring by June 30; and addition of a new exemption from the loan forgiveness reduction for borrowers who have made a good-faith, written offer to rehire workers that was declined.
- 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
- Asistencia de Desastre de la SBA en Respuesta al Coronavirus
- Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loans - information on who can apply, loan details and forgiveness
- Summary of Payroll Protection Program (PPP) application process
- List of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) lenders in Boulder
- Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Advance
- Boulder Small Business Development Center (SBDC) - local assistance with EIDL and PPP loan applications
- Small Business Administration (SBA) Guidance and Loan Resources - information on federal CARES Act
- Small Business Owners’ Guide to CARES Act
- Small Business Guide and Checklist for Coronavirus Emergency Loans
- State of Colorado COVID-19 Business Resource Center - Paycheck Protection Program Forgivable Loans, SBA Disaster Loans for Small Businesses, and more
- Infographic Comparison of Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) and Payroll Protection Program (PPP) Loans
- Colorado Work-Share Program - Colorado Department of Labor & Employment
- EIDL Advance Loan Application Instruction Video - view the video below for instructions on how to complete the EIDL Advance Loan Application
- 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 wee kly 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 What's Working.
- 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
- 2020 COVID-19 Paycheck Protection Program Lending List
- Safer at Home phase guidance for businesses - Boulder County
- Guidance for Businesses and Employers - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- Social Distancing Self-Certification for Businesses - Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment
- Resources for Retail Food Establishments - Boulder County
- Governor Polis extends "last call" to 11 p.m. in executive order
- Coronavirus Resources for Employers and Workers - Colorado Department of Labor & Employment
- Construction Worksite Safety guidelines
- Construction Worksite Safety guidelines for developers
- Article on managing remote work and virtual meetings - Harvard Business Review
- 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 3/20/2020
- 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