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.
Colorado Disproportionately Impacted Business Grant applications will be open through Oct. 3, 2021 for grant awards from $1,500 to $10,000. Grants are intended to help Colorado businesses that were disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic with expenses that have not been covered by other federal, state or local funding. The program has very specific eligibility requirements and the application requires detailed financial information. Individual grants cannot exceed the net financial loss the business experienced due to the pandemic from March 26, 2020 to the date of the application. More information and application link.
New Vaccine Verification Program allows businesses to offer mask-free facilities and events for their customers, staff and partners. Boulder County Public Health is now accepting applications for the Vaccine Verification Program (VVP), which is an exception to the mask order for businesses who have developed and enacted specific policies, met several requirements and received approval from BCPH.
Approved businesses must have 95% of all individuals in their facility fully vaccinated, including employees, staff, guests, members, visitors, children, etc. The calculation of the 95% must include all people in the indoor space, including the unvaccinated, exempt individuals and those who are ineligible for the vaccine (i.e. under 12). Small business employers (less than 100 employees) who cannot reach the threshold of 95% of employees vaccinated are encouraged to call 970-599-1256. Additional mitigation strategies are encouraged for all indoor spaces, including improved ventilation, increased distancing, limited capacities, symptom screening, and good hand hygiene. Once approved, the facility or event must post signs at all entrances indicating proof of vaccination is required for entry. Once approved, the mask exception can apply to an entire building 24/7, certain times and dates, certain rooms within the facility, or can be applied to a single event, such as a large wedding.
Detailed information and applications for the Vaccine Verification Program can be found at www.boco.org/VaxVerification.
Boulder County Mask Order & Fully Vaccinated Facility Program
The Boulder County Board of Health approved Public Order 2021-08 requiring facial coverings for anyone 2 years or older in public indoor spaces during periods of substantial or high-transmission of COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status went into effect on Sept. 3, 2021.
While there is no individual vaccination exception to masking, businesses, facilities and events can voluntarily become an Approved Verified Vaccinated Facility or Event. Once approved by Boulder County Public Health, approved fully vaccinated facilities and events may allow individuals within the approved indoor space to remove their masks. Applications for the Vaccine Verification Program opened Friday, Sept. 24.
Below are "Masks Required" posters that can be downloaded and printed at 8.5" x 11".
Boulder Business Recovery & Curbside Pick-Up Zone Programs
As part of its efforts to support local businesses recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Boulder is offering the Boulder Business Recovery Program and the Curbside Pick-Up Zone program, through April 30, 2022. 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.
Federal and State Resources
Sector-by-Sector guidance for businesses from the State of Colorado: guidance-by-sector.
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.
- 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
- 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
- Regular Boulder County Public Health business support webinar: Boulder County Public Health and your local Boulder County chambers and economic development partners invite you to get the latest updates on the COVID-19 pandemic, variants affecting our community and current public health orders / recommendations. The purpose of these sessions is to minimize confusion, get questions answered, hear updates on next steps, and discuss best practices within the industry.
- 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
- In October 2020, a City of Boulder Small Business Grant Program approved 201 grants totaling more than $675,000. The city dedicated part of its federal CARES Act funding to create a $675,000 competitive grant opportunity for small, local businesses and nonprofits to help navigate the impacts of COVID-19. The program was open to Boulder-based businesses and nonprofits with 100 or fewer employees that met other eligibility criteria.
- 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
Operating Safely and Supporting Social Distance Guidelines
- 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 PDF
- 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