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COVID-19 Business Innovation Grant

The COVID-19 Innovation Grant program is generously funded by Summit County Government and administered by the Summit Chamber of Commerce. The program has $100,000 to administer and businesses may request up to $5000. Grant dollars may not be used for past expenses. All grant dollars must be spent by June 1, 2021 and businesses will be asked to provide documentation of dollars spent.

The purpose of this grant program is to help small businesses adapt to immediate, short-term challenges created by COVID-19 restrictions, and help businesses continue to operate through the pandemic. The goal of the program is to help businesses operate at the highest level while maintaining public health protocols.

Innovation is the creation, development and implementation of a new product, process or service, with the goal of operating successfully within the COVID environment. This grant is available to help businesses implement or exceed state and local prevention guidelines.

Some examples of innovation through the times of COVID include, but are not limited to: implementing heaters for new or expanded outdoor dining and retail or implementation of a computer software to move to online purchases and to-go ordering.

Applications will open on Wednesday, December 16, 2020 and will close on Wednesday, December 30, 2020.

Eligibility
1. Your business must have a physical location in Summit County.
2. Your business must show a negative financial impact as a result of COVID.
3. Demonstrate how the business plans to use the grant funds to adapt to new COVID-19 restrictions.
4. Demonstrate how the business plans to use the grant funds to help slow the spread of the virus.

Please submit the online application, and email the following to blair@summitchamber.org:
• W9
• Summary of 2019 revenues versus 2020 revenues.
• Estimate of project expenses.
• Copy of current Business License.

Resources to Support Businesses

The following resources are available to businesses that need additional support. These resources can be found on the COVID-19 Business Resource Center.

  • Governor Polis recently worked with legislative leadership to provide a one-time direct $375 cash payment to over 435,000 Coloradans who have faced unemployment during the pandemic. Coloradans will receive the payment in early December.
  • Alternative Sources of Funding: The following Google sheet helps Colorado’s small businesses find alternative funding sources beyond EIDL, PPP, and other federal loans and programs.
  • Colorado COVID Legal Relief: This organization matches volunteer attorneys with Colorado businesses in need to help them make informed decisions and get back on their feet.
  • Emergency Rental Assistance: The Colorado Department of Local Affairs supports landowners and tenants facing eviction and foreclosure.
  • Layoff Assistance: The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment outlines a number of programs and resources to help business owners make difficult decisions around laying off employees.
  • Email the Small Business Navigator: We can direct you to resources and answer questions you may have. If you would like to call the navigator, the phone number is (303) 860-5881 (hours are Monday through Friday from 8 am to 5 pm).

Energize Colorado also provides a number of resources to help small businesses including financial resources, business guidance, free professional services, and mental health resources.

Business Grant Opportunities

Rural Business Development Grants
Deadline: February 26, 2021 – Applications are being accepted now. USDA-Rural Development.  Technical Assistance grants can be used to assist a specific small business with 3rd party problem solving support to help overcome obstacles that may hinder their startup or growth. It can also be used to assist a group of businesses with professional instruction to address the business community’s needs.  This avenue could be used to hold classes for eligible businesses that provide recovery marketing or advertising ideas as these businesses recuperate. A complete application packet can be emailed to you upon request.
Winter Outdoor Grant Program
Deadline: Dec. 11. The Winter Outdoor Grant Program is a partnership between the Colorado Restaurant Association (CRA), the Colorado Restaurant Foundation, and Xcel Energy. Grants can be used for tents, heaters and/or heating equipment or expenses related to heating; furniture, lighting, snow removal, cold-weather gear for staff or patrons, 0ther expenses directly related to your outdoor dining program.
Business and Industry (B&I) CARES Act Program
Deadline: Sept. 15, 2021 or until funds are expended. USDA is making available up to $1 billion in loan guarantees to help rural businesses meet their working capital needs during the coronavirus pandemic.
CDOT's Can Do Colorado Community Challenge
The Can Do Community Challenge, an extension of the Can Do Colorado campaign that is spotlighting innovative businesses finding ways to keep going through the COVID-19 response, is asking local communities and their resident businesses to find new opportunities to restart commerce in ways that are safe and sustainable. There are 2 grant programs being offered: Revitalizing Main Streets and CanDo Community Telework Program.

Best Practices for Businesses

Employees
  • Require employees showing any symptoms or signs of sickness, or who has been in contact with known positive cases to stay home.
  • Connect employees to company or state benefits providers.
  • Provide flexible or remote scheduling for employees who need to continue to observe Stay-at-Home, who may have child or elder care obligations, or who live with a person who still needs to observe Stay-at-Home due to underlying condition, age, or other factors.
  • Encourage and enable remote work whenever possible.
  • Minimize all in-person meetings.
  • Provide hand washing facilities/stations and hand sanitizer.
  • Encourage breaks to wash hands or use hand sanitizer.
  • Phase shifts and breaks to reduce employee density.
  • Wear appropriate protective gear like gloves, masks, and face coverings and require appropriate use. (Additional Guidance)
  • (Guidance to keep employees & customers safe)

 

Worksites
  • Deputize workplace coordinator(s) charged with addressing COVID-19 issues.
  • Maintain 6-foot distancing when possible, and discourage shared spaces.
  • Frequently sanitize all high-touch areas. (Additional Guidance)
  • Post signage for employees and customers on good hygiene.
  • Ensure proper ventilation. (OSHA guidance)
  • Avoid gatherings (meetings, waiting rooms, etc) of more than 10 people.
  • Implement symptom monitoring protocols (including workplace temperature monitoring and symptom screening questions) where possible. (Additional Guidance)
  • Eliminate or regularly sanitize any items in common spaces (i.e., break rooms) that are shared between individuals (i.e., condiments, coffee makers, vending machines). (Additional Guidance)
  • Provide appropriate protective gear like gloves, masks, and face coverings and require appropriate use. (Additional Guidance)
  • How to conduct an employee health screening.

 

To protect customers
  • Create special hours for people at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19.
  • Encourage and facilitate 6-foot distancing inside of the business for all patrons.
  • Require use of protection like gloves, masks, and face coverings.
  • Provide hand sanitizer at entrance.
  • Install shields or barriers where possible between customers and employees.
  • Use contactless payment solutions, no touch trash cans, etc. whenever possible.
  • (Additional guidance to keep employees and customers safe)