*The El Paso County Regional Business Relief Fund is now closed.
We’re excited to have been selected to partner with El Paso County for the new El Paso County Regional Business Relief Fund through which, small businesses and nonprofit organizations located within the county can apply for COVID-19 grant assistance up to $20,000.
El Paso County has chosen to open a competitive grant application process for this multi-million dollar fund as part of their Response, Recovery, Resiliency efforts. The grant assistance will assist small businesses and nonprofits most in need with their business-related costs incurred due to the COVID-19 economic disruption.
Grant Details & Eligibility:
- Grant amounts up to $20,000 that do NOT need to be repaid
- Small businesses/nonprofits must have 500 employees or less, part-time workers included
- Eligible grant uses include business-related costs incurred due to the COVID-19 economic disruption like:
- Rent/mortgage/utility payments, employee payroll, accounts payable and other fixed debt costs, personal protection equipment (PPE), and other
- NONPROFITS: Grant funds may only be used for business operations and not direct client services.
- Please Note: Grant funds are not to be used for any payment of taxes or tax debt.
The application period for this invaluable resource is open from August 12th at 8:00 AM MST – September 7th, 2020 at 5:00 PM MST.
Upon the closure of the application period, CEF will provide scoring results to the El Paso County Economic Development Oversight Committee who will then evaluate the scores to determine the grantees and amount of grant awards, as well as administer the distribution of funds via check.
Please be sure to read the comprehensive list of FAQs on the application process and more below.
View Our Informational Webinar Recordings in English and Spanish:
Watch the English webinar
Watch the Spanish webinar
Special thanks to the Pikes Peak SBDC for hosting these webinars.
Check out the buzz around the El Paso County Regional Business Relief Fund:
KRDO: El Paso County offers businesses up to $20,000 in grant money
The Colorado Springs Business Journal: County allocates CARES Act funds to small business, nonprofits
Colorado Springs Indy: Funds available to small businesses, nonprofits for pandemic relief
Questions on Eligibility, Applying, or Something Else? Contact:
Cory Arcarese, Community Lending Advisor
In response to the devastating effects COVID-19 has had on our community’s small businesses and nonprofit organizations, El Paso County has created the El Paso County Regional Business Relief Fund. El Paso County has chosen to open a competitive grant application process for small businesses and nonprofit organizations, providing up to $20,000 of grant assistance to assist them with their business-related costs incurred due to the COVID-19 economic disruption such as: Rent/Mortgage/Utility Payments; Employee Payroll; Accounts Payable and Other Fixed Debt Costs; and Personal Protection Equipment. Under the CARES Act, the federal funds may only be used to cover costs that are necessary economic recovery expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency with respect to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19); and were incurred no earlier than March 1, 2020.
Applications for this Regional Business Relief Fund will be collected, analyzed, and scored by Colorado Enterprise Fund, an organization with over 40 years of experience in funding and supporting small businesses in Colorado, with final evaluation and grant award decisions made by El Paso County’s Economic Development Oversight Committee.
The El Paso County Regional Business Relief Fund will accept applications beginning August 12, 2020 at 8:00 AM through September 7, 2020 at 5:00 PM.
The following bulleted list defines eligibility requirements:
- Small businesses structured as: Partnership; Corporation; Limited Partnership; Limited Liability Entity; Sole Proprietors; and, Independent Contractors
- Non-Profits (501c3 ONLY)
- Small businesses, regardless of industry type, must have less than 500 employees, including part-time workers (excluding 1099 contracted workers)
- Located in El Paso County, Colorado
- Business activities are legal under Colorado AND Federal law
- Applicant business is currently operating
- Applicant business was negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic
- Applicant business and business owner do not have any outstanding judgments, tax liens, or pending lawsuits against them
- The business has all required licenses and registrations to operate
- Applicant business and/or nonprofit organization has hiring practices that are free from discrimination, and hiring practices do not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, creed, religion, ancestry, national origin, sex, disability or other handicaps, age, marital status, or status concerning public assistance.
Applicants must demonstrate through submission of required documents and articulate writing that their business or nonprofit organization was impacted by COVID-19. This will be shown by clearly indicating in application questions the impact COVID-19 has had on their business operations and finances, as well as submitting all the necessary documents required for application completion. Please note, we encourage all applicants to upload additional documentation, and/or write additional explanations explaining the impact COVID-19 has had on their business operations if deemed necessary.
El Paso County Regional Business Relief Fund is a grant program, so it does not have to be repaid. However, this grant source should be noted as income and all taxes associated with the acceptance and/or usage of grant awards are the sole responsibility of the grantee, and the grantee shall comply with all applicable federal, state, local laws, executive orders, rules, and regulations in connection with acceptance and/or usage of grant funds.
Small businesses and organizations structured as a Partnership, Corporation, Limited Partnership, Limited Liability, Sole Proprietors, Independent Contractors, and Non-Profit (501c3 ONLY) Organizations are encouraged to apply. All applicants, regardless of industry and structure, must have less than 500 employees (including part-time workers), must be located in El Paso County, Colorado, and must have business activities that are legal under Colorado AND Federal law. Please see eligibility question for a comprehensive list of eligibility requirements.
Applicants may ask for a grant up to $20,000. However, it is required to identify the specific business-related costs the amount asked for would be spent on. Total grant ask must match the sum of the individual line items of approved business-related expenses.
No. The El Paso County Regional Business Relief Fund is not a first come, first serve grant program. Rather, it is a competitive application process. Applications will be accepted August 12, 2020 at 8:00 AM through September 7, 2020 at 5:00 PM. All applications submitted in completion, with all necessary documentation, will be equally evaluated by Colorado Enterprise Fund staff. Final decisions will be made by El Paso County’s Economic Development Oversight Committee.
The size of awards will be allocated and awarded based off the scores submitted to the El Paso County Economic Development Oversight Committee and will not exceed $20,000 per business.
Fully completed and submitted applications will be evaluated after the application window closes on September 7 at 5:00 PM. Each fully completed and submitted application will be thoroughly evaluated by an initial team of two Colorado Enterprise Fund evaluators, who then send the applications and their scores to the El Paso County Economic Development Oversight Committee. This committee then evaluates the scores to determine the award amount.
All applications will be initially evaluated by a team of objective analysts, then results of these scores will be sent to the El Paso County Economic Development Oversight Committee. This Committee, consisting of economic development and finance professionals, will evaluate the scores to determine the award amount.
No. We encourage all businesses in need to apply even if you have already received other relief funding. If awarded, you will have to verify with program staff how the expenses you were requesting were not already supported by another relief funding source.
No. You cannot change your application once it has been submitted. While filling out your application through the online platform, you can save your application status and come back at a later time to finish it. However, please note that unless your application is fully completed and submitted with all the required documents, it will not be considered for a potential grant award.
Yes. Upon successful submission of your application, you will receive an email confirmation from Colorado Enterprise Fund.
The El Paso County Regional Business Relief Fund application window closes on September 7, 2020 at 5:00 PM.
After all the applications are thoroughly evaluated, you will receive an email directly from El Paso County’s Economic Development Department informing you of your status. If you are selected as a grant recipient, this email communication will specify the amount of your award alongside other pertinent details necessary for accepting the award. Regardless of award status all applicants will receive notification from Colorado Enterprise Fund.
The documents required for this application are the following:
- 2019 Complete Business Tax Return – If you have not yet filed, please provide the following documents instead: Year End Balance Sheet, Profit and Loss Statement, Copy of Extension for 2019 Business Tax Return, and Complete 2018 Business Tax Return
- Balance Sheet and Profit and Loss statements no more than 60 days old
- Balance Sheet and Profit and Loss statements from the same period used above for 2019
- Valid, government issued identification of the applicant (driver’s license, passport, etc.)
- Completed IRS form W-9 for the applicant business
Please note: You will have the opportunity to save and return to complete your application at any time through the application process, but all required documents must be submitted with the application to be considered for a grant award.
If you do not have one or more of the documents required for completion of the application, please first reference the question above that provides additional documentation requirements if your business cannot provide one of the required documents. If the above question does not address your specific situation, please reach out to the Colorado Enterprise Fund team to receive guidance on the appropriate documentation to provide.
Please Note: Within the application, there is a free-form box in which your business can attach additional documentation and explanations to advocate for your business’ need of grant assistance in the event that you believe it will help to clarify or strengthen your application.
For the El Paso County Regional Business Relief Fund, only nonprofit organizations with 501c3 status are eligible to apply.
The timeline for the grant program is as follows:
- August 12, 2020 – Grant Application Opens
- September 7, 2020 – Grant Application Closes
- Early October, 2020 – Grant Awards Announced
- Mid October, 2020 – Checks Mailed to Award Recipients
The El Paso County Regional Business Relief Fund grant assistance exists to assist businesses and nonprofit organizations with their business-related costs incurred due to the COVID-19 economic disruption such as:
- Rent/Mortgage/Utility Payments
- Employee Payroll
- Accounts Payable
- Other Fixed Debt Costs
- Personal Protection Equipment
- NONPROFITS: If awarded grant assistance through the El Paso County Regional Business Relief Fund, grant funds may only be used for business operations and not direct client services.
- Under the CARES Act, the federal funds may only be used to cover costs that are necessary economic recovery expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency with respect to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19); and were incurred no earlier than March 1, 2020.
Please Note: El Paso County Regional Business Relief Fund grant funds are not to be used for any payment of taxes.