June 3, 2022

BILLS TO SAVE RESTAURANTS MONEY, FOSTER VIBRANT COMMUNITIES, AND BOOST NONPROFITS BECOME LAW

DENVER, CO – Governor Jared Polis today signed three bills into law that will save restaurants $40 million by allowing them to retain the sales tax they collect; invest $20 million in the Community Revitalization Grant Program, and direct $35 million in pandemic relief funds to small, community-based nonprofits in Colorado.

HB22-1406 was sponsored by Representatives Leslie Herod and Dylan Roberts and Senators James Coleman and Nick Hinrichsen. The law will save nearly 9,000 restaurants and retailers nearly $40 million this summer by allowing them to deduct up to $70,000 from their net taxable sales, saving businesses about $2,000 in sales tax collections in July, August and September of this year.

“This session, we took bold action to save Coloradans and businesses money, and that’s what these new laws will do,” said Rep. Leslie Herod, D-Denver. “The legislation Governor Polis signed today addresses the pressing needs in our communities by boosting the businesses, nonprofits and community groups that are the heart of our culture and our communities. This will create jobs, expand access to essential and affordable services that Coloradans need, increase affordable housing options and help build vibrant communities.” “Today is a great day for Colorado restaurants and small businesses – the cornerstones of all Colorado communities. Our bill that got signed today will allow each restaurant to save up to $70,000 this summer that they can use to address rising costs, hire or retain employees or expand their business,” said Rep. Dylan Roberts, D-Avon. “With all that restaurants went through during the pandemic and now with what they face with pandemic-induced inflation, workforce shortages and supply chain challenges, this support is so valuable. This tax relief will allow restaurants to keep more of the money they make and offset some of the cost increases they are experiencing.” HB22-1409, sponsored by Representatives Leslie Herod and Brianna Titone and Senators James Coleman and Dennis Hisey, directs an additional $20 million to the Community Revitalization Grant Program, which the legislature created last year as part of Democrats’ Colorado Comeback State Stimulus plan. This will fund projects in creative districts, historic districts, main streets or neighborhood commercial centers to create workforce housing, commercial spaces, and child care centers to support the state’s economic recovery. Projects that have already received funding from the grant program can be found here. “The Community Revitalization Grant Program has created jobs, boosted local economies and funded critical projects that build vibrant, livable and healthy communities,” said Brianna Titone, D-Arvada. “I’m proud that the legislature is investing an additional $20 million to fund additional projects in communities all across Colorado. From Trinidad and Naturita to the Denver metro area, cities and towns in all parts of our state have seen residents and businesses thrive from the initiatives funded through this grant program.” HB22-1356, sponsored by Representatives Leslie Herod and Edie Hooton and Senators Julie Gonzales and Bob Rankin, will provide $35 million in federal pandemic relief funds to nonprofit social service organizations that have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. “Colorado’s nonprofits serve our state’s residents and provide essential services that people need, but often cannot afford,” said Rep. Edie Hooton, D-Boulder. “When the pandemic hit, these organizations did everything they could amid new pressures to meet the demand for services in their communities. Even as the pandemic has subsided, the need for Colorado’s nonprofits has remained. This new law directs $35 million in federal economic relief funds to help Colorado's’ nonprofits expand and deliver the services people need to get back to work, care for themselves or their families and thrive.” Nonprofit organizations continue to fill critical gaps, but face significant challenges as they respond to longstanding community needs that were only exacerbated by the pandemic. Financial constraints often limit these organizations’ ability to serve additional Coloradans and those constraints are more challenging under recent economic conditions. The grants are designed to support small community-based nonprofits that largely serve individuals who were disproportionately impacted by the pandemic and experienced significant financial pressures. Eligible entities will be able to apply for grants as large as $100,000 to expand program capacity, foster professional development for employees or engage in strategic planning to grow their organization and maximize the use of funds.