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News Updates

Businesses who applied for the Jefferson County CARES Act Emergency Grant Program may now receive up to $10,000

Small businesses located in unincorporated Jefferson County and who applied for the Small Business Emergency Grant Program may now receive up to $10,000 to provide financial relief from the impacts of COVID-19. If you’ve already submitted an application, you will be contacted regarding modifying your application.  If you have not applied yet, you can apply online for a CARES Act Emergency Grant from the county at  https://www.jeffco.us/4057/CARES-Act-Emergency-Grant-Funding.  Application forms will be revised to reflect the increased grant amount by mid next week.

The funds are intended to provide a financial bridge until businesses can return to normal operations. Recipients will be required to prove the funds were spent to offset the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

To be considered, grant applications must be submitted by June 30th.
Other requirements include:

  • Business must have a physical location in unincorporated Jefferson County. Businesses located within city boundaries are not eligible for this grant and should contact their city economic development office.
  • Business has been operating for at least one year.
  • Is not a home-based business.
  • Must be a for-profit.
  • Have no more than 49 full-time equivalent (FTE) positions and at least one full time equivalent (FTE) worker. A business owner working full time would meet this qualification.
  • Must be registered with the Colorado Secretary of State and be in good standing.
  • Businesses with more than one physical location in Jefferson County may apply for the grant program for each unincorporated Jefferson County location. For purposes of estimating FTE’s, the FTE count shall be based only on the specific location applying for the grant.
  • Independently owned local business.  Corporately owned national chains are not eligible for the grant unless you are an individually owned franchise operator with 49 or less employees total at all locations and owner is a Colorado resident.
  • Has been forced to temporarily close or forced to dramatically limit operations due to the Public Health Orders related to the COVID-19 public health crisis.
  • Marijuana industry businesses are not eligible.
  • Demonstrates how funds will help business return to profitability. Note:
    • Grant funds may not be used to pay Jefferson County Real Property taxes.
    • The CARES Act prohibits the use of grant funds to replace County revenues.
    • Requests for funding to offset property taxes will be denied.

Applicants will be required to submit/show:

  • a copy of most recent tax return including IRS Form 941 with the application if they have employees OR a statement that the owner is working full time in the business.
  • budget demonstrating grant funds will be used to address business needs caused by business interruption between March 1-November 30, 2020; and
  • W-9.

    For complete information about the program, please visit https://www.jeffco.us/4057/CARES-Act-Emergency-Grant-Funding

Questions? Email BusinessServices@jeffco.us

Categories
News Updates

State Income Tax Payment Deadlines Extended to 7/15/2020

Governor Polis issued an executive order on June 15, 2020 to extend the State Income Tax Payment Deadlines Due to the COVID-19 Disaster Emergency.

Read the whole document from HERE >>

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News Updates

Governor’s Executive Order Activating the Colorado National Guard to Assist with Election Cybersecurity Defense Efforts

Governor Polis placed an executive order on 6/16/2020 to activate up to six (6) members of the Colorado National Guard Defensive Cyber Operations Element to assist with election cybersecurity defense efforts during the 2020 state primary election.

Read the entire document from HERE >>

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News Updates

Temporary Outdoor Business Operations & Interior Modifications for Wheat Ridge Businesses

Outdoor Business Modifications
City Manager Order 2020-2 Business Requirements

Revised May 20, 2020

As of May 9, 2020, the City of Wheat Ridge is following the Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH) Safer-at-Home order. Under this order, some businesses may reopen following specific State and County guidance. JCPH has issued FAQs that direct businesses to coordinate with the City, specifically pertaining to outdoor operations and
interior modifications; this document provides guidance on those two topics.

The City acknowledges that businesses may want or need to expand into outside space. This guidance summarizes temporary relief being offered through October 31, 2020 by Wheat Ridge Executive Order 2020-2.

In short:

  • Outdoor space is permitted for business operations on private property;
  • In most cases, permits are not required; and
  • The City’s review of liquor license premises modifications will be processed administratively.

Note: This guidance and the relief offered by Executive Order 2020-2 are subject to change. These guidelines may be used in preparation for reopening but in no way allow business operations which are not otherwise authorized by the State and County. Reopening of bars and restaurants for on-premise dining (inside or outside) will be determined by the State and County; use this guidance in conjunction with State and County rules.

Outdoor Operations:

  • Temporary tents are permitted on private property:
    – Tents must be weighted down; 40lbs per leg for 10×10 tents and more for larger tents.
    – Tents must be open on at least three sides during business hours.
    – Any activity within a tent must comply with social distancing requirements.
    – Any single tent larger than 400 square feet requires a building permit from the City.
    – Permits may be required by the Fire District depending on the configuration:
    * No permit is needed if the tent is 400 square feet or less.
    * No permit is needed if the tent is 700 square feet or less AND is open on all four sides AND is 12 feet from another structure or tent. In this scenario, the size is measured as either a single tent or the aggregate size of multiple tents placed side by side.
    * In all other scenarios, a permit from the Fire District is required.
    – If a business chooses to erect tents, there is no maximum on the size or number of tents so long as it does not exceed the square footage of the building.
  • Temporary outdoor space is permitted on private property, for patios, dining, retail, or service:
    – Outdoor business functions may occur on hard surface areas, including but not limited to parking spaces or other paved areas.
    – Outdoor business functions may occur in grass/turf areas, but not in rock, mulch, or planting beds.
    – Outdoor business functions may not occur in the right-of-way or on City-owned property except that public sidewalks or property may be used as a path of travel between the indoor and outdoor
    business operations.
    – Businesses should obtain property owner permission for any modification or use of outdoor space.
    – The area of the outdoor business function should not exceed the area of the indoor business. For example, if a business has 1,000 square feet inside, they may have up to 1,000 square feet outside.
    – Outdoor space must be demarcated if it has been included in a liquor license premises; see below.
    – Vehicle parking spaces may be repurposed for bicycle parking.
  • Use of public property or right-of-way for outdoor operations may be considered on a case-by-case basis, particularly where alternatives are limited. Contact the Engineering Division at 303-235-2861.
  • Building permits are required if permanent electrical is installed outside.
  • The City acknowledges and encourages businesses to accommodate curbside pickup of food and retail purchases. Note that curbside delivery of alcohol is temporarily allowed by the State’s emergency regulation 47-1101.
  • Outdoor display is already permitted by code within 10 feet of the front door (Section 26-631) and does not expire on October 31.
  • PLEASE BE SMART! For all outdoor activity, don’t block sidewalks, ADA parking, drive aisles, emergency access, sight distance, or right-of-way; and don’t create tripping hazards (eg with extension cords). Follow manufacturer guidelines for any temporary improvements, such as tents or portable heaters.

Liquor Licenses:

  • For businesses with an active liquor license, an outdoor area may be temporarily added to the licensed premises on private property:
    – A premises modification application must include the DR8442 form, property owner permission, a diagram of the existing premises, and a diagram of the proposed premises. Applications may be submitted electronically to cityclerk@ci.wheatridge.co.us.
    – If City-owned property (such as sidewalks) separate the indoor and outdoor premises, licensees must attest that liquor will not be consumed on the sidewalk or City-owned property.
    Additionally, the premises modification shall include either an endorsement on the relevant commercial liability policy naming the City as an additional insured, or an indemnification in a form
    approved by the City Attorney.
    – Outdoor premises should be clearly marked by temporary access control (for example, by stanchion, rope, hay bale, planter, and/or paint). Signs must indicate “no alcohol past this point.”
    – Wheat Ridge Executive Order 2020-2 waives the City’s $75 administration fee and allows for administrative approval by waiving the need for a hearing at the Liquor License Authority.
    – Subsequent to City review, the State Liquor Enforcement Division (LED) will review the application. LED Bulletin 20-07 reduces the application fee to $150 and allows for electronic payment and submittal. Licensees may not operate in temporary outdoor areas until approval is received.
    – After the modified premises is approved by the City and State, upon request, the City will send reimbursement for the $150 State application fee.
  • Curbside delivery of alcohol is temporarily allowed by the State’s emergency regulation 47-1101.

Indoor Modifications:

  • No building permit is required for installation of Plexiglas barriers, such as at checkout counters.
  • Refer to City regulations to learn when building permits apply. Generally, cosmetic changes do not require permits, but new construction, additions or alterations do need permits, including for permanent awnings, electrical changes, moving walls,  demolition, and interior remodel; see below.

Resources:

Categories
News Updates Tools for Financial Recovery

City of Wheat Ridge Announces Second Round of Small Business Stabilization Grants

WHEAT RIDGE, Colo. May 20, 2020 – The City of Wheat Ridge City Council has approved a second round of  Small Business Stabilization Program grants making an additional $250,000 in grants available to small businesses in Wheat Ridge who have been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 emergency. Businesses are eligible to receive funding from the grant program of up to a total of $5,000 combined from the first and second round of grants. Applications are available online and the deadline for submission is Friday, June 5, 2020, at noon.

“The City of Wheat Ridge is proud to announce additional grant funds to support our local businesses as the Jefferson County Public Health Safer at Home order continues to impact those not yet allowed to open or those operating with decreased opportunities for revenue,” stated Patrick Goff, Wheat Ridge city manager.

“The Wheat Ridge Small Business Stabilization Program is funded by the federal CARES Act approved by Congress and made available to the City from Jefferson County. Support to local businesses is one of the eligible expenses under the CARES Act. It is thanks to these additional financial resources that Wheat Ridge is able to dedicate these grants for use by our business community,” Goff continued.

Criteria for the Wheat Ridge Business Stabilization Program include: for-profit independently owned companies physically located in the City of Wheat Ridge, in operation as of Jan. 1, 2020, and in good standing with the City as of Feb. 1, 2020; businesses who have fewer than 25 full-time employees; and those who have a verifiable hardship directly due to COVID-19. Additional criteria are listed on the application which is available on the City’s website. In addition to the application, applicants must submit a W-9 form. The grant funds are intended to be used for operational needs, lease or mortgage payments, payroll, and/or supplies and services. Upon receipt, the applications will be reviewed by a Task Force including City Councilmember Zach Urban, City Treasurer Chris Miller, and representatives from the Wheat Ridge Chamber of Commerce, the Wheat Ridge Business Association, the Wheat Ridge Business District, and Wheat Ridge Localworks. The deadline for application is Friday, June 5 at noon. The Task Force will notify approved applicants by Friday, June 12, 2020. Applications are available on the City website and can only be accepted using this submission process. Questions can be directed to Steve Art, Wheat Ridge economic development manager sart@ci.wheatridge.co.us

In addition to the grants, the City of Wheat Ridge is providing face masks to critical businesses for their customers and created a Sales Tax Deferment program spring payments, Localworks offered an interest free loan program, and City staff and the Wheat Ridge Business Association created two websites; Biz-Ridge.com and Eat-Ridge.com as well as a business toolkit. The Small Business Grant application, Mask Request form and other information for businesses is available on the City website designated for Business Continuity and Support.

The City of Wheat Ridge, located west of Denver with a population of 31,000 residents, is home to a mix of retail/commercial businesses and unique residential neighborhoods. Wheat Ridge is a vibrant community in a prime location, providing easy access to the Denver metro area and to recreation west into the mountains. The City was recently ranked Top Smallest City by the Economic Development Council of Colorado. Info about Wheat Ridge ci.wheatridge.co.us

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News Updates

Western States Pact Urges $1 trillion in Federal Support for States and Cities Responding to COVID-19 Pandemic

Gov. Polis, Democratic legislative leaders join call for support

DENVER – In a letter to Congressional leadership, governors and legislative leaders from five western states requested $1 trillion in direct and flexible relief to states and local governments in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic in order to preserve core government services like public health, public safety and public education, and help people get back to work.

“There is no time to waste and we can overcome the widespread economic pain caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, together. I urge Congress to quickly take up and pass a new stimulus package to provide relief to Colorado’s communities hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. A robust, flexible federal response to this pandemic is critical to our state’s recovery and our and country as a whole,” said Gov. Polis.

“Without additional flexible aid from the federal government, our state will be forced to make the deepest budget cuts we have ever seen. Congress must help our communities, both big and small, avoid the devastating impacts of these cuts,” said Speaker Becker, D-Boulder. “These cuts would hurt vulnerable populations and further impact our already underfunded schools and institutions of higher education, which still haven’t recovered from the last recession. We are going to prioritize education and critical public health and safety programs as we work to ease how painful this budget may be, but without federal support there’s only so much we can do.”

“States all over the country have been devastated by coronavirus with thousands of lives lost and millions suffering from unemployment. But theses are just the immediate impacts. The longer, more insidious effects of the pandemic will ripple out for years to come, as state infrastructure crumbles from lack of funding,” said Senate President Leroy Garcia, D-Pueblo. “We need the Federal Government to step up and provide immediate relief to state and local governments or millions more will suffer as essential services are eroded. Coloradans are deeply resilient people, and I know that with the right help we can get through this together.”

Here is the letter and it is also below:

Dear Speaker Pelosi, Leader McConnell, Leader McCarthy and Leader Schumer:

It is now clear that COVID-19 will be with us for the foreseeable future, and the worst of its economic impact is yet to come. Our states are on the front line against the virus while at the same time leading our states’ recovery. Each of us has seen first-hand how COVID-19 has caused a national recession that we are seeing play out in our states – resulting in a record amount of lost wages and business failures, spiraling unemployment and substantial, unplanned COVID-19-driven costs.

We deeply appreciated the quick financial assistance you provided workers, small business people and those who have been displaced by this crisis. But now, however, our states will be forced to make deep cuts to programs that help those same individuals without similar relief efforts for state and local governments. Even states that began the year in a strong fiscal position are facing staggering deficits amid growing costs of responding to the crisis. With unemployment projected to surpass that of the Great Recession, we are facing unprecedented and ongoing economic challenges.

Without federal support, states and cities will be forced to make impossible decisions – like whether to fund critical public healthcare that will help us recover, or prevent layoffs of teachers, police officers, firefighters and other first responders.  And, without additional assistance, the very programs that will help people get back to work – like job training and help for small business owners – will be forced up on the chopping block.

That’s why we are respectfully, and urgently, requesting $1 trillion in direct and flexible relief to states and local governments. Though even this amount will not replace the decline in revenue that we forecast, it will make a meaningful difference in our ability to make-up for COVID-19 revenue losses. This aid would preserve core government services like public health, public safety, public education and help people get back to work. It would help our states and cities come out of this crisis stronger and more resilient.

Red and blue states alike all are faced with the same COVID-19 math, as are Democratic and Republican mayors across our states. The moment requires unprecedented partnership from all of us – across every level of government and across party.

We urge you to take swift action to help states and local governments provide core government services for American families.

Sincerely,

Jared Polis
Governor of Colorado

Leroy Garcia
President of the Colorado State Senate

Steve Fenberg
Majority Leader of the Colorado State Senate

KC Becker
Speaker of the Colorado House of Representatives

Alec Garnett
Majority Leader of the Colorado House of Representatives

Gavin Newsom
Governor of California

Toni Atkins
President Pro Tempore of the California State Senate

Anthony Rendon
Speaker of the California State Assembly

Marie Waldron
Minority Leader of the California State Assembly

Kate Brown
Governor of Oregon

Tina Kotek
Speaker of the Oregon House of Representatives

Peter Courtney
President of the Oregon Senate

Steve Sisolak
Governor of Nevada

Nicole Cannizzaro
Majority Leader of the Nevada Senate

Jason Frierson
Speaker of the Nevada State Assembly

Jay Inslee
Governor of Washington

Andy Billig
Majority Leader of the Washington State Senate

Laurie Jinkins
Speaker of the Washington House of Representatives

cc: Colorado congressional delegation
cc: California congressional delegation
cc: Oregon congressional delegation
cc: Nevada congressional delegation
cc: Washington congressional delegation

###

Categories
News Updates

Guidance on the Safer at Home Executive Order for Employers and Employees

On April 29, 2020, Governor Jared Polis issued the Safer at Home Executive Order D 2020 044 , directing the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, within the Department of Regulatory Agencies
(DORA) and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), to issue guidance to prevent discrimination in the workplace related to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). In light of the Executive Order, Colorado employers must provide reasonable accommodation and are prohibited from discriminating against employees who are showing symptoms of COVID-19 or who have been in contact with a known positive case of COVID-19.

Read the document >>

Categories
News Updates

Governor Polis Provides Update on Colorado Response to COVID-19

DENVER – Gov. Polis today provided an update on Colorado’s response to COVID-19.

“Safer at Home is not a return to normalcy, which means that Coloradans should continue to be responsible, stay at home when possible and wear masks when in public. This virus is having an impact on every part of our lives. We talk a lot about how this is affecting public health and our economy, but it’s equally important to recognize the impact this is having on Coloradans’ mental and behavioral health,” said Governor Jared Polis. “We want to ensure everyone has the resources they need during this difficult time, whether it’s related to your finances or mental health. We are all in this together and we’re going to get through this together.”

Many Coloradans have experienced substantial loss of income as a result of business closures and layoffs, hindering their ability to keep up with their rent or mortgage payments and threatening their housing security. On March 20, Gov. Polis signed an Executive Order addressing this issue and is now extending and strengthening that order. Executive Order D 2020 051 includes:

  • No evictions or foreclosures should occur in the month of May, for residential or commercial tenants, unless there is a public safety risk.
  • Landlords and lenders are prohibited from charging any late fees or penalties because of an inability to pay rent or mortgage payments.
  • Landlords must notify tenants of the new federal protections against evictions and foreclosures for each property.
  • DOLA, CDLE and DORA should work with property owners and landlords to create model repayment agreements to allow tenants the time they need to repay rent.

2-1-1, Colorado’s free information hotline, is a critical service for many Coloradans and during the COVID-19 pandemic the line has seen a sharp increase in calls. Today, in addition to providing guidance on emergency assistance, transportation, housing support, and other services, 2-1-1 will now be answering questions about worker protections and health care discrimination as more Coloradans begin returning to work.

As Colorado transitions to Safer at Home, many Coloradans will still be spending a lot of time at home. This pandemic is not only taking on the economy and Colorado way of life, but on Coloradans’ mental and behavioral health. State crisis hotlines are seeing a much higher call volume since the beginning of this crisis. Colorado Crisis Services provides free, confidential, professional, and immediate support for any mental health, substance use, or emotional concern 24/7/265. Folks can call 1-844-493-TALK (8255) or text TALK to 38255 to speak to a trained professional. Any Coloradan that needs support should reach out.

Governor Polis announced a new special assignment committee within the Behavioral Health Task Force that will focus on the effects of COVID-19 on behavioral health in Colorado. The special assignment committee will:

  • Create an interim report that highlights the short- and long-term impacts of COVID-19 on the behavioral health system, including access and affordability of behavioral health services, especially for vulnerable and underserved populations.
  • Evaluate the behavioral health crisis response in Colorado to COVID-19 and provide recommendations for the Behavioral Health Task Force’s blueprint on improvements of behavioral health services for a response during any potential future crisis.

The Task Force is charged with providing recommendations on how to overhaul the state’s behavioral health system to ensure every Coloradan has access to mental health resources in every corner of Colorado. The recommendations were supposed to be released in June, but given the crisis, the timeline of the Task Force’s work is being extended until later in the summer.

The Governor also announced that FEMA has activated the Crisis Care Program (CCP) for the State of Colorado. The CCP provides reimbursements to local organizations that support individuals and communities as they recover from the psychological effects of disasters.

Services will be provided at no cost and are available to any survivor. Services include:

  • Stress mitigation
  • Crisis Counseling
  • Coping strategies
  • Emotional support
  • Education
  • Links with individuals or agencies that can help those impacted
  • And services can be provided in either a group setting or one-on-one

The COVID Relief Fund is now distributing the second round of funding grants. The Fund received 780 applications requesting more than $17 million. $3.6 million will be disbursed in the second round to 165 organizations that are serving all 64 Colorado counties. Funding is going to community-based organizations serving displaced workers, children in low income households, frontline workers in health care and other critical industries, workers without access to paid sick leave or health insurance, older Coloradans on fixed or lower incomes, people experiencing homelessness, people with disabilities, Tribal governments, survivors of domestic violence or child abuse, immigrant and refugee communities, and Black, Latino, and Asian Coloradans who are disproportionately affected by this crisis. Through the first two rounds, $8.4 million in funding has been distributed to 371 organizations across the state.

Gov. Polis today signed Executive Order D 2020 055, temporarily suspending certain statutes concerning taxpayer filing requirements for certain taxable property. Read the Executive Order here.

Categories
News Updates Tools for Financial Recovery

Update on EIDL Application – SBA

At this time, only agricultural business applications will be accepted due to limitations in funding availability and the unprecedented submission of applications already received.

Applicants who have already submitted their applications will continue to be processed on a first-come, first-served basis. For agricultural businesses that submitted an EIDL application through the streamlined application portal prior to the legislative change, SBA will process these applications without the need for re-applying.

We just received word that EIDL applicants with 2000 series app numbers should reactivate their applications now that the portal has reopened for Agriculture. Even though the website will say the EIDL App Portal Opening will be for NEW agriculture business applicants only, ODA has informed our field leadership that if someone who has a 2000 series EIDL loan number (meaning that they were in the initial group and need to reapply) they WILL be able to re-apply and have their new loan number tied to their original loan number so they don’t lose their place in line.

Go to EIDL information on SBA >>

Categories
Tools for Financial Recovery

PPP Forgivable Loans & EIDL Applications Reopen

Yesterday Congress approved a second round of funding for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) forgivable loans and Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL). SBA is working on reopening the applications. We encourage you to prepare your application in anticipation of the reopening date.

Paycheck Protection Program loans have already provided Colorado’s small businesses, nonprofits and independent contractors with over $7B of payroll loans through its initial round of funds. EIDL recipients throughout the state have also secured critical low interest loans from the SBA. The second round of funding enables more Colorado PPP and EIDL applications to move forward.

The additional $320B appropriation for PPP includes specific allocations for small financial institutions and community credit unions while also providing funds for minority owned businesses. These forgivable loans will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis and Colorado businesses are encouraged to apply promptly.

The additional $60B appropriation for EIDL also allows Colorado businesses to resume seeking low-interest recovery loans from the SBA.

Statewide, this program stands to benefit more than 600,000 businesses, nonprofits and gig workers so we encourage eligible program participants to seek these payroll loans at your local lending institutions.


Next Steps for Applying to PPP

Consider these next steps when applying for the Paycheck Protection Program:

1. Verify your business’s eligibility.
2. Review the application and gather the necessary materials such as payroll tax filings, proof of lease payments, proof of mortgage payments, and proof of utility payments.
3. Get in contact with your accountant and/or bank that pays out your business’s payroll. Ask your lender if it is authorized to process your Paycheck Protection Program loan. If you are not connected to an authorized lender, find an eligible lender here.


Next Steps for Applying to EIDL

Consider these next steps when applying for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan:

1. Verify eligibility through SBA’s online portal.
2. Gather necessary materials such as your business’s most recent tax return, owner’s/GP’s personal financial statement, and schedule of liabilities.
3. Apply through SBA. SBA put together an EIDL Application Guide to walk you through the application process.
4. To check the status of your application, please either call 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339) for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or send an email to disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.