Small enterprise that didn’t obtain or weren’t capable of get grants or loans from the federal Paycheck Safety Program earlier this 12 months have one other probability at getting the cash they should keep afloat.
Beginning Monday, these small companies, ones with 25 or fewer staff, can apply for grants and loans of as much as $35,000 beneath a program created with unanimous and bipartisan assist by the Colorado Legislature throughout this 12 months’s session.
This system is designed to assist the smallest of companies within the state, significantly these in rural areas which were hard-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and what it did to the financial system, mentioned sponsors of the invoice that created it.
Sens. Religion Winter, D-Westminster, and Jeff Bridges, D-Greenwood Village, mentioned they launched SB222 that created the Energize Colorado Hole Fund with Reps. Perry Will, R-New Citadel, and Mary Younger, D-Greeley, as a result of there have been so many small companies that weren’t capable of benefit from that Small Enterprise Administration program, partly as a result of they simply didn’t have the wherewithal to use for one motive or one other.
“The PPP program, good start, great results for a lot of Colorado companies, but it left some folks behind,” Bridges mentioned.
“I had small business owners in my district calling me up with gratitude that they got money, and then I got calls from others calling me up in tears that they didn’t,” Winter added. “They didn’t have the right relationship with their banks, the application process was complicated or they didn’t make it across the finish line. For them, getting that PPP loan was the difference between laying off their employees. It was the difference between paying their mortgage and staying open and feeding their own families.”
Whereas this system is aimed toward all small companies, priorities will we afforded to people who are in rural areas of lower than 50,000 in inhabitants, are within the tourism business, have restricted or no entry to capital financing or different authorities loan or grant packages, and are owned by minorities, veterans, Native Individuals or girls.
Bridges mentioned that whereas this system isn’t open to companies that already acquired PPP loans, which had been authorized by Congress as a part of one in all its coronavirus aid payments, those who didn’t get sufficient — lower than $25,000 — nonetheless can qualify.
Preliminary funding for this system, $25 million, stems from cash the state acquired from one of many congressional coronavirus payments, however at the very least one other $5 million has been raised from non-public sources, with extra funding attainable.
Underneath this system, companies can qualify for as much as $15,000 in grants and $20,000 in low-interest loans.
Rates of interest on the loans will likely be zero for the primary 4 months, 1% for 12 months, and 1.5% for any longer phrases, which may very well be as much as three years.
“What is the Gap Fund? It’s a public-private philanthropic alliance raising funds to help save small businesses throughout the state, particularly businesses owned by women, businesses owned by minorities, businesses owned by veterans and businesses located in rural areas,” mentioned Kent Thiry, chairman of the manager committee of the fund. “We all know that these four populations, even pre-COVID, suffered special challenges and obstacles in trying to get access to capital. Those challenges, that gap between them and others, is only made worse by COVID.”
The legislation that created the fund additionally stipulates that at the very least $5 million goes to tourism-related companies.
Due to the inhabitants standards within the legislation, Grand Junction companies wouldn’t be eligible as a result of its inhabitants exceeds 50,000, however Fruita and Palisade companies are certified.
Underneath the invoice, unincorporated areas of the county which can be at the very least 10 miles away from a extremely populated municipality can also qualify. That features components of Mesa counties, and all of Garfield, Delta, Montrose, Rio Blanco and Moffat counties.