City of Boulder to offer grants for small businesses with $500,000 in ARPA funding

Application period June 6 through 20, 2022

As the economic impacts of COVID-19 continue to be felt by businesses across the country and here at home, the City of Boulder is dedicating a portion of its federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to provide $500,000 for one-time grants for local small businesses, including women- and minority-owned businesses, that continue to be negatively impacted by the pandemic.

Boulder has been recognized as one of the best places to start, grow, and sustain a business. While the city’s culture of innovation and entrepreneurial support helps businesses thrive here, a 2021 survey of local businesses found many continue to struggle with pandemic-related challenges such as supply chain disruption, increased operating expenses and greater competition for workers. The grants were approved by Boulder City Council in recognition of the importance of businesses to the community and are part of Boulder’s ongoing inclusive economic recovery efforts.

The city is launching two grant opportunities, a small business grant and a grant focused specifically on child care businesses. One-time grants of $1,000, $2,500 or $5,000 will be offered through both opportunities and will be awarded through a competitive application process that considers financial need, adaptation to changing business conditions, planned use of grant funds and other factors. Grant awardees will not have to pay back any awarded amounts, which are expected to be distributed this July.

The Boulder ARPA Small Business Grants program will provide $400,000 in grants to local businesses with 2 to 49 employees that were established before Jan. 1, 2020 and meet other eligibility criteria. The city is partnering with Colorado Enterprise Fund (CEF), a nonprofit community financial institution, to administer the grants. More information and the grant application are on the Boulder Small Business Grants webpage on the Colorado Enterprise Fund’s website. The online application is available in English and Spanish, and will be open from 8 a.m., Monday, June 6 through 5 p.m., Monday, June 20, 2022.

“We are pleased to continue our partnership with the City of Boulder and helping to support Boulder small businesses with this new grant program,” said Ceyl Prinster, CEO and president of CEF. Nuria Rivera-Vandermyde, Boulder city manager, added “Locally allocated ARPA funding enables the city to offer grant opportunities to help local small businesses that continue to face pandemic-related challenges and add so much to our community way of life and economic health. We appreciate our partnership with CEF as well as the Boulder Chamber, Boulder Small Business Development Center, Boulder Convention and Visitors Bureau, Community Foundation of Boulder County, Downtown Boulder Partnership, Latino Chamber, and NAACP, in our inclusive economic recovery efforts.”

The city’s Boulder ARPA Child Care Business Grants program will provide $100,000 for grants to state-licensed, non-home-based child care businesses located in Boulder that meet other program requirements. The child care business grants are in addition to ongoing support for child care providers and needs-based support for families with low incomes seeking child care provided through the city’s Housing and Human Services Department. The city is also planning for additional child care investments with ARPA funding.

More information about both programs can be found on the City of Boulder COVID-19 Business Resources webpage.