The act creates a small business COVID-19 grant program, financed by $20 million from the federal money allocated to the state pursuant to the federal "Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act", also referred to as the "CARES Act". The Colorado office of economic development (office) will administer the grant program and the Colorado economic development commission will contract with the Colorado housing and finance authority (CHFA) to operate the grant program. CHFA will work with nonprofit or community-based lenders that will underwrite and distribute the grants to small businesses pursuant to the program.
To be eligible for a grant, a small business must have fewer than 25 employees and have been affected by economic hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. A preference is given for a small business that did not qualify for or receive a paycheck protection program loan; is majority owned by veterans, women, or minorities; or is located in a rural area. Individual grant awards are capped at $15,000, and of the total amount allocated for the grant program, $5 million is earmarked, until October 1, 2020, for tourism businesses. The federal money must be spent by December 30, 2020. The office must submit reports on the grant program to the committees of the general assembly with jurisdiction over business affairs.
The act appropriates $20,000,000 from the care subfund in the general fund to the office for administration of the small business COVID-19 grant program.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)