Heads Up May 27, 2022

Here’s some need-to-know information for the week:

City to use portion of ARPA allocation to fund $500,000 in grants to local small businesses

As previously approved by council, the City of Boulder is dedicating a portion of its federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to provide $500,000 in one-time grants for local small businesses, including women- and minority-owned businesses, that have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. These competitive grant opportunities are part of Boulder’s ongoing inclusive economic recovery effort and have been developed with the city’s sustainability framework and racial equity instrument in mind.

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. Recognizing this need and the important role businesses have in serving the community, generating local tax revenue, providing jobs, and supporting the local economy, the city plans to offer grants of $1,000, $2,500, or $5,000 to eligible small businesses.

In June, the city will launch two grant programs including a new program focused specifically on local childcare businesses. Grants offered through both programs will be awarded through a competitive application process that will consider financial need, adaptation to changing business conditions, planned use of grant funds, intent to continue operation, and other factors. A total of 100 to 150 general small business grants and 25 to 40 grants to childcare businesses are expected to be made and the number of applicants may exceed available funding.

Boulder ARPA Small Business Grant Program – The city is partnering with Colorado Enterprise Fund (CEF), a nonprofit community financial institution, to provide $400,000 in grants to businesses with 2 to 49 employees established before Jan. 1, 2020. Similar to the city’s 2020 small business grant program made possible with federal CARES Act funding, businesses may not be in the marijuana industry and are required to be privately held, headquartered in Boulder, and have a city business license. Nonprofit organizations, sole proprietors, and businesses with 50 or more employees are not eligible for this 2022 ARPA-funded grant program.

Boulder ARPA Child Care Business Grants – In addition to ongoing support for childcare providers and needs-based support for families with low incomes seeking childcare through the city’s Housing and Human Services department, the city will provide $100,000 in grants to state-licensed, non-home-based childcare businesses located in Boulder. To be eligible, businesses must be privately held, provide year-round childcare, have two to 49 employees, and have a city business license.

In early June, the city will send emails to business license holders, issue a news release, and work with community partners to inform small businesses and the community about both programs. Details will be available on the City of Boulder and CEF websites. All materials and a FAQ will be available in English and Spanish.

For more information, please contact Senior Program Manager, Economic Vitality Jennifer Pinsonneault at pinsonneaultj@bouldercolorado.gov or Assistant City Manager Yvette Bowden at bowdeny@bouldercolorado.gov.


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