Denver, CO– The Governor today signed two bills, passed by the General Assembly, to provide much-needed relief to small businesses across Colorado. Representatives Lisa Cutter and Shannon Bird sponsored HB20-1413, which establishes a loan program for small businesses. Representative Mary Young sponsored SB20-222, which enacts a small business grant program. 

“This session, Democrats worked to get Colorado back on its feet and on the way to economic recovery,” said Rep. Cutter, D-Jefferson County. “The loan program signed into law today will give Colorado’s small businesses a leg up by providing a responsible and effective way to keep their doors open while our state recovers.”

“Colorado’s small businesses need all the help they can get,” said Rep. Bird, D-Westminster. “This new law will put yet another tool in the toolbelt of businesses struggling to stay afloat during these unpredictable times. Small businesses employ 40% of our state’s workforce, and it is critical to keep small businesses open and people employed. By investing in our small businesses, we’re taking important steps toward recovering Colorado’s strong and bustling economy.”

HB20-1413 establishes a small business loan program for which $250 million of private and public funding is allocated to Colorado’s small businesses over the next two years. Loans of between $30,000 to $500,000 with a maturation of up to five years will be awarded to small businesses with between five to 100 employees and Loans must carry a lower interest rate than what would normally be available on the commercial market. In order to ensure as much fiscal equity as possible, counties across Colorado will be allocated loans that are proportionate to the number of small businesses in the county..      

“All small businesses need our help, but I’m proud that this grant program will specifically support rural, women, minority, and veteran-owned businesses,” said Rep. Young, D-Greeley. “We can’t leave any Coloradan behind, and this bill will give special attention to businesses that were overlooked by the Paycheck Protection Program while investing in our tourism industry, which is greatly suffering.”  

SB20-222 creates a grant program funded by $20 million of the CARES Act for small businesses that have been affected by the COVID-19 crisis. $5 million will be set aside for the recovery of the tourism sector.  To qualify for the grant program, businesses must have less than 25 employees. Businesses that did not qualify for the Paycheck Protection Program will be given preference. Women, minority and veteran-owned businesses will also be given priority as well as businesses that are located in rural areas.