Update on Relief for Coloradans & Small Business in 2021 and How to Get Help
December 31, 2020
To my fellow Coloradans,
Happy New Year’s Eve! 2020 has had its fair share of challenges, and each one of us has been touched by this global pandemic. Whether you’ve felt the health impacts of the virus, the social isolation, or have been affected financially by the economic recession, no one is coming out of this year unscathed.
Looking toward the new year, I’m pleased to say there is a light at the end of the tunnel. We are in the home stretch! Let’s all have a safe New Year’s Eve and make sure we don’t put our own lives and the lives of our loved ones at risk. For so many Coloradans and small businesses who have been hit by this pandemic, this is a particularly difficult time. That’s why I wanted to remind folks of the resources available to them and how to find them.
Please see below for more information on these important programs.
$600 Federal Stimulus check
These payments were part of Congress’ most recent bipartisan stimulus package and have already begun hitting bank accounts. Individuals with an adjusted gross income of up to $75,000 a year on their 2019 tax return will qualify for the $600 and couples earning up to $150,000 will qualify for $1200 total. The credit phases out for individuals earning above $75,000 but below $100,000. There is also a $600 payment for each qualifying child. If you qualify and haven’t received this payment yet, you can check the status at IRS.gov/GetMyPayment. No action is needed on your part.
If you’re looking to apply for unemployment benefits for the first time or have questions about a claim you’ve filed, visit the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment’s website for more information and support during this process.
Housing and Utilities Assistance
During this year’s special session, we collaborated with bipartisan legislators in the General Assembly to allocate an additional $54 million in housing assistance through the Department of Local Affairs (DOLA). For more information on DOLA’s housing programs and to access support for your rent or mortgage, visit their website. We also allocated $5 million to Energy Outreach Colorado to help Coloradans with utility assistance. Visit their website for more information on how to access those funds.
You can also find more information on other programs serving our state, such as County Housing Authorities, the Colorado Low Income Energy Assistance, and more.
2-1-1 Colorado General COVID-19 Information (including Rent Relief/Tenant Support)
2-1-1 is a confidential and multilingual service connecting people to vital resources across the state. No matter where you live in Colorado, you can find information about resources in your local community. Learn more.
During this pandemic, 1 in 3 Coloradans aren’t sure where their next meal is coming from. I’m proud that during the special session earlier this year we awarded $5 million to the Food Pantry Assistance Program in the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS). If you’re experiencing food insecurity, learn more about food assistance programs from the CDHS, Food Bank of the Rockies, and others serving the people of Colorado.
Organizations looking to help their communities address hunger and food access issues, can apply for assistance with the Emergency Hunger Relief Fund.
Education, Childcare and Additional Food/Hunger Resources
CDC Guidance for Schools and Child Care
Colorado Department of Education Resource Hub
Colorado Department of Education Emergency Feeding Guidance
Meal Service by School District
Map of Food Distribution
Health Care Resources
This pandemic has made accessing and affording health care even more difficult for many Colorado families. If you’re looking for help finding physical or mental health resources, or need assistance paying health care bills, find resources here including Connect for Health Colorado, Mental Health Center of Denver, Salud Family Health Centers and more.
Small Business Assistance
The Office of Economic Development and International Trade COVID-19 Business Resource Center offers multiple funding opportunities for businesses and nonprofits, including the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Express Bridge Loans.
Small Business Hotline: (303) 860-5881.
Hours are Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.
Businesses facing eviction can find assistance through the Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA).
The new federal stimulus provides additional support for small businesses impacted by the pandemic, especially restaurants and entertainment venues. This round of “Paycheck Protection Program” (PPP), can go to any businesses that show a loss in revenue of 25% or more from at least one quarter of 2020 as compared to that same quarter in 2019. The funding available for businesses is calculated by finding the average monthly payroll in 2019 and then multiplying it by 2.5, meaning 2.5 months of payroll expenses. Thankfully the new law provides even more help for restaurants through a special provision that gives these businesses a PPP amount equal to 3.5 months of average monthly payroll costs. We anticipate that Colorado businesses can gain access to billions of dollars in funding via these programs. The timing for the availability of this round of PPP loans has not been announced by the Small Business Administration (SBA). Please visit the OEDIT website listed above for updates as information becomes available and more details on this round of PPP loans and other federal stimulus programs
The new law also creates a simplified one-page forgiveness application for PPP loans of under $150,000 and allows expenses covered by PPP loans to be tax deductible.
I hope these resources are helpful to you and your community.
I want to thank each of you for your resilience and perseverance over the last year, and I’m confident that better days are ahead in 2021. Please continue wearing masks, staying at least six feet away from others, and avoiding social interactions with folks outside your household.
Have a safe and happy new year!
Governor Jared Polis
200 E Colfax, State Capitol, Denver, CO 80203