Helping businesses statewide respond to the current health crisis

COVID 19: Business Preparedness & Continuity

The Pikes Peak SBDC and Colorado SBDC Network is here to help businesses who have been affected by recent disasters in Colorado including response to the current health crisis. Our consultants and partners including the Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) provide services to assist with disaster loan applications, long term planning, insurance navigation, physical and economic loss estimations, business preparedness and more. To find your local SBDC’s resources, click here.

 

Summary of Third Amended Public Health Order 20-38

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) issued a third amended Public Health Order (PHO) 20-38 which applies to El Paso County communities. These new changes are effective Tuesday, June 1, 2021.

The state-modified PHO 20-38 includes three major changes:

  1. All indoor mass gathering capacity restrictions are removed;
  2. Face coverings remain mandatory in the following settings listed below; however, the age threshold for this requirement is now 12 years of age and older (previously 11 years of age and older). Where face coverings are required (schools, daycare, camps), children under age 12 are not required to wear face coverings; and
  3. Revised face covering requirements only apply to unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated individuals in the following settings listed below.

Face Covering Requirements

Face coverings are required for certain individuals, ages twelve (12) and older, in the following settings:

  1. Unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated students, staff, and visitors to preschool through grade 12 schools (including extracurricular activities) and child care centers and services, including camps, except while participating in outdoor activities;
  2. Unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated staff of Colorado Department of Motor Vehicle offices;
  3. Unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated residents, staff and visitors to prisons or jails;
  4. Unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated patients, visitors, and personnel in emergency medical and other healthcare settings (including hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers, urgent care centers, clinics, doctors’ offices, and non-urgent care medical structures as stated in PHO 20-38).

Schools and Child Care

Schools and child care are required to work with their local public health agencies as COVID-19 cases occur, and follow the CDPHE guidance for Cases and Outbreaks in Schools and Child Care.

Exceptions to the face covering requirements remain for individuals 11 years of age or younger; individuals who cannot medically tolerate a face covering; and under certain activities as outlined in Section 1.A.2.c.

American Rescue Plan - SBA Updates

Current Business Guidelines

Read the Press Release

Read the Press Release

Pikes Peak Region - Resources

  • Grant Details & Eligibility: To be eligible, you must be either a: Small business or enterprise – Colorado sole proprietors and registered small businesses including LLCs, S-Corps and other business types. Small Non-Profit Business – 501c3 nonprofit businesses only. You must also: Have fewer than 500 full and part-time employees. Have experienced economic harm that was caused or made worse by the COVID-19 public health emergency. Applicants must clearly describe the harm experienced. Additional documentation may be required to validate the described harm. Use funds, if awarded, to respond to the described harm. The intended use must not have been covered with other COVID-19 relief funds. Please note that past Regional Business Relief Fund recipients ARE eligible to participate in Round 2.
  • Since August of 1980, Better Business Bureau of Southern Colorado has helped consumers find businesses, brands, and charities they can trust serving 25 counties throughout Southern Colorado. COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, is affecting people, businesses and communities around the world. Better Business Bureau reminds everyone to remain vigilant to avoid scams related to the virus, use necessary, common sense precautions when traveling, and find reliable sources to stay informed about what to do as the virus spreads. Visit your local BBB of Southern Colorado Website at https://www.bbb.org/local-bbb/bbb-of-southern-colorado.

    The BBB recently published its 2020 BBB Scam Tracker Risk Report, focused on the rise of online scams during the COVID-19 pandemic. Download the report ».
  • The City of Colorado Springs will continue to provide essential government services while also implementing select modified operations to comply with orders and public health recommendations related to COVID-19. Those temporary changes are detailed on this site.
  • Colorado Springs Planning and Community Development Department is accepting applications for temporary use and revocable permits to expand dining areas to the following areas o The City Clerk’s office, in compliance with the Colorado State Liquor License Enforcement Division recent rule change, is implementing an expedited local process for the restaurant to modify their liquor licensed premises to temporarily serve alcohol in an expanded dining service area.
  • The Colorado Springs & EDC has advocacy, informational, and technical economic development services for the Pikes Peak Region business community. The Chamber & EDC has information on state and local resources and is coordinating efforts with community partners to bring relief to businesses and recovery plans for business re-entry and long-term recovery.
  • Downtown Colorado Springs shops and restaurants are taking extensive, diligent measures to provide a clean, safe and welcoming environment for customers. Downtown businesses remain open, and continue to provide a positive, safe and welcoming experience. Visit this site for #shoplocal ideas to support your downtown businesses and ALL businesses in the Pikes Peak Region.
  • The El Paso County Public Health department is keeping the public up to date on the latest via their website. Stay informed as small business owner and help stop the spread of rumors to reduce anxiety!
  • A list of businesses, that are open, closed, by appointment and open for delivery or pickup
  • The Emergency Relief Fund for Non-Profits in El Paso and Teller County has been activated. Visit this site for more information.
  • The Pikes Peak Workforce Center is keeping tabs on any local, state, and federal resources to assist small businesses and their employees if they see themselves out of a job or without pay due to business economic loss or a quarantine. It’s a good time to utilize the workforce center for any upskilling of your current employees to other job duties as necessary. Contact the Business Relations Group at 719.667.3814 or BRG@elpasoco.com
  • The Pikes Peak SBDC provides a team of experts to provide free business consulting in financials, business continuity plans, marketing, legal, HR and numerous areas of support for your emergency plans.
  • COVID-19: Resources and Travel Recommendations

Federal Financing Options

This loan provides economic relief to small businesses and nonprofit organizations that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue.

Express Bridge Loan (EBL) Pilot Program allows small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 with less paperwork.

 

EBL loans can only be made by SBA Express Lenders that had a valid Supplemental Loan Guaranty Agreement SBA Express Program (SBA Form 2424) in effect as of the date of the applicable disaster.

 

Eligible small businesses are those that were located, as of the date of the applicable disaster, in the Primary Counties that have been Presidentially-declared as disaster areas, plus any Contiguous Counties. The small business must have been operational when the declared disaster commenced, and must meet all other 7(a) loan eligibility requirements.

 

Terms:

 

  • Up to $25,000
  • Fast turnaround
  • Will be repaid in full or in part by proceeds from the EIDL loan

 

Find an Express Bridge Loan Lender via SBA’s Lender Match Tool or by connecting with your local SBA District Office.

The Economic Aid Act as of 1/9/2021 (SUBJECT TO CHANGE UNTIL FINAL RULES ARE PROVIDED):

  • Temporarily enhances the terms of the 7(a) loan program by increasing the loan guarantee to 90 percent and
    offering reduced or no fees for the borrower and the lender. Additionally, it would temporarily increase the
    7(a) express loan limit and loan guarantee to provide access to needed working capital.
  • Temporarily eliminates fees for the 504 loan program and favorable terms for refinancing loans.
  • Increases the aggregate loan limit for microloan intermediaries in order to ensure intermediaries have
    increased capacity to make loans to underserved and underbanked borrowers.
  • Extends the Small Business Debt Relief program, Section 1112 of the CARES Act, which would defer
    payments of principal and interest on new and existing SBA 7(a), 504, and Microloan programs for eligible
    entities.
      • Stay tuned for final details include assistance to underserved borrowers.
  •  Other Disaster Loans – deferred payments extended to March 2021.
  • Available for all 7a loans (including Community Advantage Loans) loan except Paycheck Protection Loans
  • The SBA shall pay all principal and interest on existing 7a, 504 and microloans made before this act was passed that are not on deferment for 6 months starting with the next payment
  • For deferred loans, the SBA payments start after the deferment period ends
  • Lenders may extend the maturity for loans by one year even beyond normal statutory max when deferment occurs
  • NOTE: This is for borrowers who already had 7a loans in place before COVID-19
  • Available for all existing 7a, 504 and microloans (including Community Advantage Loans) loan except Paycheck Protection Loans
  • This is for borrowers who already had SBA loans in place before COVID-19
  • Does not apply to new 7a loans made after this act was passed which are covered by EIDL Loans or Paycheck Protection Loans
  • Businesses that engage in activities not legal under federal law (Marijuana)

For current SBA Serviced Disaster (Home and Business) Loans: If your disaster loan was in “regular servicing” status on March 1, 2020, the SBA is providing automatic deferments through December 31, 2020.

 

What does an “automatic deferral” mean to borrowers?

 

  • Interest will continue to accrue on the loan.
  • 1201 monthly payment notices will continue to be mailed out which will reflect the loan is deferred and no payment is due.
  • The deferment will NOT cancel any established Preauthorized Debit (PAD) or recurring payments on your loan. Borrowers that have established a PAD through Pay.Gov or an OnLine Bill Pay Service are responsible for canceling these recurring payments. Borrowers that had SBA establish a PAD through Pay.gov will have to contact their SBA servicing office to cancel the PAD.
  • Borrowers preferring to continue making regular payments during the deferment period may continue remitting payments during the deferment period. SBA will apply those payments normally as if there was no deferment.
  • After this automatic deferment period, borrowers will be required to resume making regular principal and interest payments. Borrowers that cancelled recurring payments will need to reestablish the recurring payment.

 

If you have questions about your current loan and whether or not your loan is automatically deferred, please contact your Loan Servicing Office directly using the following information:

Birmingham Disaster Loan Servicing Center
Phone: 800-736-6048
Email: BirminghamDLSC@sba.gov

El Paso Disaster Loan Servicing Center
Phone: 800-487-6019
Email: ElPasoDLSC@sba.gov

A payroll tax credit for wages paid by businesses that fully or partially close due to Coronavirus. The Federal Government is working diligently on developing the application process for these loans and we will let individuals know that information when it is released and applications are open.

  • A credit against 50% of payroll taxes on qualified wages per quarter (the employer share of Social Security taxes) for any quarter in which the business is fully or partially suspended or in which there was a significant revenue decline in 2020
  • The credit is refundable
  • For businesses with more than 100 employees, only wages for employees that are not still working are eligible
  • Credit only applies to a max of $10K per employee
  • Wages for any employee for which the credit applies may not exceed wages the employee received in the 30 day period previous.
  • Businesses receiving other EIDL or Paycheck Protection Loans would not be eligible.
  • Any business that partially or fully closed during the Coronavirus crisis or that experiences significant revenue declines due to the virus.
  • Self-employed individuals that similarly qualify

 

1.       American Rescue Plan tax credits available to small employers to provide paid leave to employees receiving COVID-19 vaccines

2.       Safe harbor for small businesses to claim deductions relating to first-round Paycheck Protection Program loans

3.       Guidance: Businesses can temporarily deduct 100% of restaurant food or beverage expenses

4.       Filing season: Errors; Interest and penalties; Overlooked refunds; Premium Tax Credit; Recovery Rebate Credit

5.       Economic Impact Payments from the American Rescue Plan

6.       20-year Exam veteran selected as new Office of Promoter Investigations acting director

7.       A Closer Look: Impacting the Tax Gap


1.  American Rescue Plan tax credits available to small employers to provide paid leave to employees receiving COVID-19 vaccines


The Internal Revenue Service and the Treasury Department announced further details of tax credits available under the American Rescue Plan to help small businesses, including providing paid leave for employees receiving COVID-19 vaccinations.

The additional details, provided in a fact sheet released today, spell out some basic facts about the employers eligible for the tax credits.

Self-employed individuals may claim comparable credits.

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2.  Safe harbor for small businesses to claim deductions relating to first-round Paycheck Protection Program loans


The Treasury Department and IRS issued Revenue Procedure 2021-20 for certain businesses that received first-round Paycheck Protection Program loans but did not deduct any of the original eligible expenses because they relied on guidance issued before the enactment of tax relief legislation in December of 2020.

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3.  Guidance: Businesses can temporarily deduct 100% of restaurant food or beverage expenses


The Treasury Department and the IRS issued Notice 2021-25, providing guidance under the Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Relief Act of 2020.

Beginning January 1, 2021, through December 31, 2022, businesses can claim 100 percent of their food or beverage expenses paid to restaurants as long as the business owner (or an employee of the business) is present when food or beverages are provided and the expense is not lavish or extravagant under the circumstances.

See the IRS food and beverage deduction news release for details, including purchases from restaurants for off-premises consumption.

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4.  Filing season: Errors; Interest and penalties; Overlooked refunds; Premium Tax Credit; Recovery Rebate Credit


Find useful information about the following topics:

· Steer clear of typical tax return errors that could delay refunds or otherwise affect normal processing as the May 17 filing deadline nears

· Video offers tips on Avoiding Interest and Penalty Charges by filing and paying the amount due on time

· IRS Free File can help people who have no filing requirement find overlooked tax credits and get a refund

· IRS suspends requirement to repay excess advance payments of the 2020 Premium Tax Credit

· IRS letters explain why some 2020 Recovery Rebate Credits are different than expected

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5.  Economic Impact Payments from the American Rescue Plan


Updates and more about Economic Impact Payments under the American Rescue Plan:

· The IRS, Treasury, and Bureau of the Fiscal Service announced they are disbursing nearly two million payments in the sixth batch of Economic Impact Payments from the American Rescue Plan, bringing the total so far to approximately 161 million payments, with a total value of more than $379 billion, since these payments began rolling out to Americans in batches as announced on March 12

· Those experiencing homelessness can get Economic Impact Payments and other tax benefits; permanent address not required

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6.  20-year Exam veteran selected as new Office of Promoter Investigations acting director


As part of the continued and increased focus on compliance issues, the IRS announced Lois Deitrich, a 20-year veteran of the agency, will be the acting director for the new Office of Promoter Investigations.

“By establishing the Office of Promoter Investigations, we are continuing our increased focus on promoters of abusive tax avoidance transactions, which we have demonstrated over the last year,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig.

Lois will serve as the principal advisor and consultant to IRS division commissioners and deputy commissioners on issues involving promoters of abusive transactions and the schemes they peddle.

The new office will further expand on the efforts of the Promoter Investigations Coordinator that began last summer. Prior to the creation of the new office, the IRS also realigned field examination employees who work on promoter investigations.

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7.  A Closer Look: Impacting the Tax Gap


In the latest issue of A Closer Look, Commissioner Chuck Retting discusses how the IRS is working to reduce the Tax Gap. The Tax Gap represents, in dollar terms, an estimate of the annual amount of noncompliance with tax law.

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COVID-19 Resources

  • The Small Business Navigator is the first point of contact for new and existing business owners with questions about federal, state and local licensing requirements. The navigator also provides referrals to a variety of state and federal assistance programs and local small business training. In addition, the navigator maintains a comprehensive database of federal, state and local regulatory and permitting requirements. SMALL BUSINESS COVID-19 DISASTER RESPONSE HOTLINE: 303-860-5881 ((OPEN MONDAY-FRIDAY 8AM-5PM))
  • The Colorado SBDC Networking is regularly hosting webinars to guide you through the COVID-19 emergency response and preparedness.
  • Visit this website for the latest information for employers and workers. Website links include information on: – Paid Sick Leave for COVID-19 – Workplace Preparedness – Information from the Division of Federal Employees Compensation (DFEC)
  • The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is a great resource to keep up on the latest throughout the state of Colorado.
  • The resources at choosecolorado.com provide state and federal COVID-19 announcements, programs, and information relevant to Colorado businesses.
  • USDA Rural Development has taken a number of immediate actions to help rural residents, businesses and communities affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Rural Development will keep our customers, partners, and stakeholders continuously updated as more actions are taken to better serve rural America.
  • Below is a list of resources that are generally available to Colorado tenants who may be struggling to pay some of their rent amid Coronavirus. The organizations are broken down by state, state nonprofit, county and city resources. The organizations in the list below are not affiliated with the Colorado Apartment Association or any of its subsidiaries.
  • The Colorado Legislature and Governor Polis have passed Senate Bill 20B-002 authorizing an additional $54 million in housing assistance for people economically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Executive Order D 2020 017 “Ordering Coloradans To Stay at Home Due to the Presence of COVID-19 in the State,” and the corresponding Public Health Order 20-24 Amended Public Health Order 20-24 Implementing Stay at Home Requirements (PHO 20-24) exempt critical businesses. Please see PHO 20- 24 for the complete and current list of authorized businesses that are exempt.
  • Now is the moment for us to come together to support our state and buy local food, groceries and goods. Colorado Proud has put together the following list of Colorado farmers, ranchers, retailers, chefs, restaurants, and food and beverage manufacturers providing food, products and services direct to consumers.
  • There’s a ton of information coming your way as a small business owner, and the information you just read will most likely change tomorrow. Trust us, we get it, and we’re here to help. Every Friday, you can access the latest information and resources directly from the top, in one 60-minute call, on a consistent weekly basis. Calls are organized by region so that you can get the latest information relevant to your business and area of operation.
  • Philanthropy Colorado has been working to connect funders across the state and ensure the sector has the most up-to-date information about nonprofit needs, relief funds and resources.

Business Interruption insurance normally covers the replacement of lost income when operations are halted during a natural disaster such as a fire. It covers operating expenses, a move to a temporary location, payroll, taxes and loan payments. The Coronavirus pandemic is uncharted territory and until we know more about what insurances companies should cover, here are some steps to advocate for yourself:

1. Ask your agent to file a claim with the carrier even if they tell you that your business is not covered.
2. When you receive the declination document, write a letter to the carrier and tell them why you are disputing the declination (be specific)
3. If declined again, connect with an independent insurance specialist and see if the next step should be to file a request for help with the Colorado Division of Insurance at https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/dora/ask-question-make-complaint-division-insurance

If your business is facing eviction, reach out to the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) for assistance. Learn more about DORA’s efforts. If you need legal support, the Justice Center is offering free legal aid for businesses affected by COVID-19 on Wednesday nights.

The Colorado Community Revitalization Grant provides gap funding for projects in creative districts, historic districts, main streets or neighborhood commercial centers. This grant will support creative projects that combine creative industry workforce housing, commercial spaces, performance space, community gathering spaces, child care centers, and retail partnerships for the purpose of economic recovery and diversification by supporting creative sector entrepreneurs, artisans, and community non-profit organizations.

For grant requests over $100,000, the awarded funding amount will not exceed more than 50% of the total costs of the project. Grants will be capped at a maximum of $5 million per project in order to distribute the funds broadly. Projects that are specifically designed for artist live/workspace may be eligible for grants higher than $5 million, not to exceed more than 50% of the total project cost.

Funding amounts will be based on these factors:

  • total project cost
  • other sources of secured permanent funding
  • gap amount needed for the project

The Colorado Tourism Office (CTO) Meeting and Events Incentive provides a 10% cash rebate against eligible hard costs for hosting meetings and events in Colorado that take place on or after July 1, 2021 and on or before December 31, 2022. The minimum rebate is $3,500 and the maximum rebate is $100,000.

The program’s goal is to increase tourism industry recovery by incentivizing meeting and event planners to:

  • book new meetings and events in Colorado rather than in one of our competitor states
  • retain meetings and events where there is a demonstrated likelihood that an event or meeting may be canceled, postponed, or relocated outside of Colorado without support

The Colorado Revolving Loan Fund provides loans that help small to medium-sized Colorado businesses negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. These loans range from $5,000 to $750,000. These loans are intended to provide startup and working capital that will help create and retain jobs across the state of Colorado.

The maximum interest rate is 10%, and the expected average interest rate of these loans is 4%. Loans may be character-based and may have terms up to 20 years based on the type of loan.

This fund prioritizes socially and economically disadvantaged businesses and non-profits. We will work with community-based organizations to reach people, and extend effort to assist and qualify these types of businesses including using non-traditional underwriting criteria such as character-based lending and providing bi-lingual support where possible.

The CLIMBER (Colorado Loans to Increase Mainstreet Business Economic Recovery) Loan Fund is a statewide program that will provide up to $250 million in working capital loans to Colorado small businesses through 2023. It will promote small businesses recovery, save jobs, and help support the Colorado economy.

Lenders, CDFIs, credit unions, and nonprofit lenders can participate and provide loans for their small business customers needing financial assistance.
Small businesses with 5-99 employees that were financially stable before the pandemic but now need help to survive may apply for working capital loans between $30,000 and $500,000. Below-market interest rates and a 1-year deferred payment option make the program a secure recovery option for small businesses.

The Tourism Marketing Matching Grant helps nonprofit organizations, destination marketing organizations, and local city and county governments market themselves to increase traveler spending in Colorado.

To help meet the needs of industry partners, many with reduced budgets due to the pandemic, for fiscal year 2022 (July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022) applications the maximum grant amount has been raised to $40,000 while the required match has been lowered to 50%. Your request needs to have a funding ratio of 1-to-2 non-grant funding to grant funding. For example, if you request a grant of $40,000, you need to have at least $20,000 in other funding.

The Rural Jump-Start Program helps economically distressed communities attract new businesses and jobs. Counties, municipalities, and higher education institutions work together to apply for this program.

When a community is a designated rural jump-start zone, new businesses can receive incentive payments and tax relief including credits, exemptions, and refunds from:

 

  • state income tax
  • state sales and use tax
  • county and municipal personal property taxes


Employees of new businesses receive a grant for starting a new business and a tax credit for 100% of state income taxes on their wages for work in the rural jump-start zone.

The Rural Jump-Start Program began in January 2016 and will accept applications through December 31, 2025.

The Colorado Arts Relief Fund provides $15.5 million for the second round of funding to support arts, cultural and entertainment artists, crew members, and organizations affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This program previously provided $7.5 million in early 2021 in its first round of funding.

Funding through this bill will be distributed through two separate grant applications:

  • Colorado Arts Relief—Business and Organization FY22
  • Colorado Arts Relief—Individuals FY22


This funding initiative was passed by the State of Colorado legislature and created in Section 1-24-48.5-116, enacted by HB21-1285.

Alternative Funding Resources Spreadsheet

The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) is hosing an extensive list of different funding options for small businesses.

The Coronavirus, Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) allows employers to defer the deposit and payment of the employer’s share of Social Security taxes and self-employed individuals to defer payment of certain self-employment taxes. Learn More from the IRS.

Trade and travel advisories are developed by the US Customs and Border Patrol.

Industry-Specific Resources

Descargue las guías de asistencia técnica de la USHCC a continuación.

Resiliency

Colorado SBDC COVID-19 Disaster Response Webinars

Add Your Phone!

One of the key tools to fight COVID-19 and slow its spread is right in your pocket. CO Exposure Notifications can quickly notify you if you’ve likely been exposed, allowing you to reduce risk for your loved ones, seek timely medical attention, and stay home.

Resource Videos & Webinars

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