The impact of COVID-19 on small businesses has been catastrophic, in many cases causing businesses to close their doors across our state. While loans provide one form of assistance, FSWCF has been thrilled to also participate in getting needed grant capital to small businesses across Colorado. Grant capital is essential for businesses to survive — for some, making the difference between keeping their doors open or shutting them for good. Throughout the year, we have run many of our own grant programs, but also taken part in statewide and county-specific initiatives to deploy Cares Act Federal funding to small businesses.

Through the Energize Colorado Gap Fund and the Rio Grande County Business Relief Fund, we have helped deploy almost $4 Million in Cares Act Funding to 307 small businesses in Colorado.

From the data we have, 62% of these grants went to women-led businesses, 41% to BIPOC-owned businesses and 9% to veteran owned businesses. 220 of these businesses were in rural Colorado, primarily in our Southwest and Southern counties. We’ve assisted businesses in counties including Alamosa, Archuleta, Clear Creek, Conejos, Costilla, El Paso, Fremont, Gilpin, Huerfano, La Plata, Larimer, Lincoln, Logan, Mineral, Montezuma, Morgan, Ouray, Philips, Rio Grande, Saguache, San Miguel, Sedgwick, Weld, and Yuma.

Our team worked around the clock for several months to process these grants, most of which ranged in size from $500 to $15,000. While we wish we could have helped everyone that applied, we were glad to assist those we could with these funds. Messages of gratitude from recipients showed the impact this money will have:

“I can’t tell you how much pressure this will take off our minds, and how grateful we are that this fund was created! We can now pay our Chamber dues, and know that our bills and most of our payroll will be taken care of for the immediate future. This service that you and your partners are doing for small businesses in Colorado is so needed, and we thank you.” – Small Business, Costilla County

“This is the best news I’ve heard in a while. Thank you for fighting for our small rural communities and knowing the importance of my job and economic development.” – Economic Development nonprofit, Phillips County

“I truly can’t tell you how much this Energize grant means to our dance academy. It goes such a long way in our recovery. We are unspeakably grateful!” – Small Business, Archuleta County

We are grateful to our partners at Energize Colorado, CHFA, OEDIT, Rio Grande County, URG-ED and Governor Polis and his team for making sure this capital was available to small businesses in rural Colorado.

If your small business is in need of support, you can apply for PPP Round 2 through our partner, First Southwest Bank or apply for a low-interest loan through our Rapid Response and Recovery Fund. Stay tuned for new programs coming soon.