Weekly Policy Update: New Small Business Loan and Grant Programs Signed into Law

On Tuesday, Governor Polis signed two state bills into law that will provide support for Colorado small businesses through low-interest loans and grants from the state. Both bills passed with bipartisan support and were applauded by the business community as important measures to help alleviate the financial struggles and regulatory burdens companies are facing as a result of the pandemic.

House Bill 1413 was the outcome of Governor Polis’ economic advisory council that was created to address the economic impacts of the health crisis. The new law establishes a small business recovery loan fund consisting of $250 million of state and private dollars for first loss capital on loans to small businesses over the next two fiscal years, funded by the sale of insurance premium tax credits. State dollars will be matched at a 4 to 1 ratio with money invested from other sources before its deployed. Once the money is matched, it will be used to make loans between $30,000 and $50,000 to Colorado businesses with between 5 and 100 employees, with a maturity of up to 5 years.

Senate Bill 222 creates a small business COVID-19 grant program financed by $20 million from the federal money allocated to the state through the federal CARES Act. Eligible businesses will have fewer than 25 employees, with preference given to small businesses that did not receive a Paycheck Protection Program loan and that are majority owned by veterans, woman, or minorities or located in a rural area. Additionally, $5 million of the grant program is set aside for firms in the tourism industry.

CBSA praises the state legislature’s leadership and support of Colorado small businesses during this challenging time. As these state programs are launched, we will provide updates to our community and share guidance for how to apply for a loan or grant.

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