Connecting Community

COVID-19 Business Resources


The Small Business Owner’s Guide to the CARES Act

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act includes programs that will provide assistance to employers and business owners. This detailed guide contains information about the major programs and initiatives that will soon be available from the Small Business Administration (SBA), as well as some additional tax provisions.

Small Business Paycheck Protection Program

The CARES Act includes $350 billion to help small businesses keep workers employed through economic downturn caused by the pandemic. The Paycheck Protection Program is an initiative that provides 100% federally guaranteed loans to small businesses. Of note: these loans may be forgiven if borrowers maintain their payrolls throughout the crisis or restore their payrolls afterward. Locally, we have one Preferred Small Business Loan lender in our area: First Southwest Bank

Colorado Department of Labor and Employment Work-Share Program

Some businesses may want to explore the option of reducing hours for workers instead of laying off staff. Through the Work-Share Program, while employees are working fewer hours, the State of Colorado can pay them part of their regular unemployment benefits.

Colorado COVID-19 Small Business Hotline

Want to talk to real person about all this? Contact the State’s Small Business COVID-19 Disaster Response Hotline at 303-860-5881 (M-F, 8am-5pm)

Colorado SBDC COVID-19 Small Business Response Resources

The Colorado Small Business Development Center Network has developed a Resource Center containing a comprehensive list of the options available to businesses through this crisis. On a more local level, the Southwest Colorado Small Business Development Center is offering free consulting and assistance to small business owners during the crisis on topics like disaster loan applications, longterm planning, insurance navigation, physical and economic loss estimations, business preparedness and more

The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering  low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses suffering “substantial economic injury” due to the pandemic. Governor Jared Polis has declared a “state of emergency” in Colorado, which allows Colorado businesses to be included in this loan program.

Families First Coronavirus Response Act

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) contains emergency provisions to provide help to individuals, families, and businesses. The Act also includes the expansion of the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which gives additional paid leave for employees.

FFCRA U.S. Department of Labor links 
Questions and Answers
Fact Sheet for Employees
Fact Sheet for Employers
FFCRA Employee Rights Poster

First Southwest Community Fund COVID-19 Emergency Funding Programs

First Southwest Community Fund

The First Southwest Community Fund has launched several emergency funding programs in collaboration with regional organizations and foundations. The programs include regional micro-grants, low-interest loans,  and a “rapid response recovery fund,” all for rural Colorado small businesses.

Heritage Emergency National Task Force

The Heritage Emergency National Task Force (HENTF), a public-private partnership between FEMA and the Smithsonian Institution, has published a COVID-19 Resource Hub, a web portal to an array of resources that can help the cultural heritage and creative communities respond to and recover from the pandemic.

La Plata County COVID-19 Business Resource Playbook

The La Plata County Economic Recovery Task Force, a coordinated partnership between economic development groups,  local agencies, and public entities in La Plata County, has created a La Plata County COVID-19 Business Resource Playbook. This document contains the most up to date links and information for local businesses searching for financial assistance due to the COVID-19 Crisis.

Region 9 Disaster Assistance Loan Program

Region 9 Disaster Assistance Loan Program is offering loans up to $10,000 to help cover payroll, rent, and utilities on a three month draw period with 0% interest if paid within six months and 1% interest if paid for 6-12 months. The loans will convert to Prime interest rates after one year and will amortize on a 24-48 month term. 

Southwest Colorado Disaster Assistance

Southwest Colorado Disaster Assistance (SWCODA) shares resources for those seeking assistance during this time, as well as information for individuals and businesses who want to help their community. Their business page contains valuable resources for local businesses and non-profits looking for assistance.