August 18, 2020 – At Tuesday’s Board of County Commissioners meeting, El Paso County’s Department of Economic Development presented the El Paso County Regional Business Relief Fund, a new local grant program just launched by the county. Grant applications are now open to local small businesses and nonprofits in El Paso County that have been adversely affected by the pandemic. CARES Act dollars will fund the Regional Business Relief Fund as El Paso County continues to find tangible ways to support the local business community, and focus on the county’s COVID-19 response, recovery, and resiliency efforts.
The funds under the El Paso County Regional Business Relief Fund program will be awarded as a grant rather than a loan and will not have to be repaid by recipients. El Paso County businesses and nonprofits with fewer than 500 employees can apply to receive a grant of up to $20,000, which can be used to pay for expenses and economic hardship due to COVID-19. Funds can be used to cover costs such as rent and mortgage, utilities, employee payroll, accounts payable, other fixed debt costs, and personal protection equipment. Funds cannot be used for taxes or tax debt.
“Small businesses are critical to El Paso County’s economic development ecosystem. They not only bring character and vitality to our community but they also financially support the great residents of our region,” said Economic Development Executive Director, Crystal LaTier.
Applications are now being accepted for the Regional Business Relief Fund and can be submitted online. All applications are due by September 7, 2020 at 5:00 PM. So far, more than 150 businesses and nonprofits have applied for grant assistance through the Regional Business Relief Fund.
After the application window closes, applications will be processed by the county’s partner, Colorado Enterprise Fund (CEF), a nonprofit lender certified by the SBA. CEF will collect, analyze and score the applications, after which El Paso County will make final decisions on and disburse awards.
“We’ve been working with Colorado’s small businesses through the pandemic and we’ve seen how important it is for them to have multiple sources of support,” said Ceyl Prinster, President and CEO of CEF. “Our goal is to create a fair and smooth process so that these funds get to those that need it most as soon as possible.”
For more information on eligibility requirements, a comprehensive list of FAQs and further details on the grant program, visit the El Paso County Regional Business Relief Fund website, or for additional questions, applicants may also contact the Colorado Enterprise Fund team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Colorado Enterprise Fund
Founded in1976, Colorado Enterprise Fund (CEF) provides loans up to $1 million to finance small businesses and startups unable to obtain funding through traditional banks. CEF has disbursed more than 3,500 loans totaling more than $116 million in startup and growth capital and created or retained over 21,000 jobs in the state. A nonprofit Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), CEF is based in Denver with lending services available statewide. CEF makes a positive impact on Colorado’s economy by accelerating community prosperity through its financing and support of entrepreneurs and small businesses across the state. For more information, visit: www.coloradoenterprisefund.org.