Business incentive and financial assistance programs are available to support the growth of businesses in Boulder.
Boulder Microloan Program
To help local small businesses and nonprofits that may not be able to obtain financing through traditional sources, the City of Boulder, Colorado Enterprise Fund and local financial institutions have partnered to help provide access to capital and business coaching.
The Boulder Microloan Program provides loans and one-on-one business coaching to qualified small businesses and nonprofits in Boulder that have the ability to repay a loan but may not be able to obtain financing through traditional sources. The program is a partnership between the City of Boulder, local financial institutions and Colorado Enterprise Fund, a nonprofit community financial institution that administers the program.
The Boulder Microloan Program offers loans up to $50,000. In some cases, borrowers may qualify for a larger loan amount. More details are available from Colorado Enterprise Fund.
The Boulder Microloan Program offers loans to small businesses, including nonprofits and women- and minority-owned businesses, located in Boulder. Applicants must meet basic credit qualifications. More information is available from Colorado Enterprise Fund.
Boulder Microloan Program goals include:
- Bridging the gap for businesses or nonprofits that may not currently qualify for bank financing and prepare them for traditional banking relationships
- Promoting entrepreneurship and innovation to harness the creative potential of individuals and invest in the economic success of the community
- Encouraging business ownership and self-employment as a means for economic self-sufficiency
- Helping to create and retain jobs for residents including those with low or moderate incomes
- Fostering diversity in the business community by encouraging business ownership among ethnic minorities, women and individuals with disabilities
- Encouraging the development and growth of small businesses and nonprofit organizations that serve the community
For more information or to apply for the Boulder Microloan Program contact Lewis Hagler, Colorado Enterprise Fund, at 303-860-0242, ext. 14 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Flexible Rebate Incentive Program
To encourage the growth and retention of businesses, the City of Boulder offers the Flexible Rebate Program to help offset the cost of expanding within the city of Boulder. The program provides rebates of certain city fees and taxes and is available to primary employers of any size that meet eligibility requirements and sustainability guidelines.
The Flexible Rebate Program provides rebates of permit fees and taxes paid to the city related to facility improvements and investments in fixed assets to eligible businesses. The program is primarily a business retention tool to encourage primary employers of all sizes to remain and grow in Boulder. Primary employers that are relocating to Boulder may also be eligible for an incentive through the program.
Businesses and nonprofit organizations that meet the city's definition of a primary employer (businesses of any size that generate 50% or more of their revenue from outside Boulder County, excluding hotels, motels, retailers and food service facilities) are eligible for the program. Other eligibility requirements are listed on the Flexible Rebate Program application.
Building permit fees and city taxes and sales or use taxes paid to the City of Boulder on purchases of fixed assets such as office furniture and equipment are generally eligible for rebate. The incentives cover fees and taxes paid over a three-year period. For a primary employer applying for an incentive in 2023, eligible fees and taxes paid to the city between Jan. 1, 2023 and Dec. 31, 2025 would qualify for a rebate up to the total approved by the city manager for the applicant.
Several factors are considered in the review of a flexible rebate application such as the facilities investment and capital expenditures planned by the applicant, estimated economic impact, commitment to sustainability and available funding for the program. Flexible Rebate Program incentives are approved at the city manager's discretion. Since the program was started in 2007, rebates ranging from $5,000 to $100,000 have been approved by the city manager.
To be eligible for the program, businesses must demonstrate commitment to environmental, social, and community sustainability. Examples including paying above average wages, supporting local nonprofit organizations, encouraging workforce diversity, completing a free energy assessment, implementing an environmental purchasing policy, and many more. A range of sustainability guidelines to choose from is listed on the Flexible Rebate Program Application with more detailed information in the Flexible Rebate Program Application Instructions.
To apply, complete the Flexible Rebate application and submit to Jennifer Pinsonneault, City of Boulder, City Manager's Office, at PinsonneaultJ@bouldercolorado.gov or 1777 Broadway, Boulder, CO 80302.
Applications for the current program year must be submitted on or before Friday, Dec. 15, 2023 and will be considered on a first come, first served basis as they are received during the year while program funding is available.
State Business Incentives
The Colorado Office of Economic Development & International Trade offers tax credit, funding and job training programs to support the growth and expansion of businesses in Colorado.
COVID-19 Relief Funding for Businesses
The Boulder Small Business Development Center (SBDC) provides a comprehensive list of federal, state and local funding opportunities for Boulder County-based businesses that is regularly updated. Updated information on COVID-related business resources are available on the city's COVID-19 Business Resources page.
"We are thrilled to be building a new, world-class brewery in our hometown. The Avery Brewing Company would not exist without Boulder and we can't imagine being anywhere else. This rebate is an incredible bonus. We are so appreciative that the city and the people of Boulder are helping us create what we know will be an amazing attraction and gathering place for our community for years to come."- Adam Avery, Avery Brewing Company