The COVID-19 outbreak may have caused your company’s revenue to drop significantly and lead to economic hardship, making you eligible for Colorado small business grants. Federal grants total $8.85 billion, while local governments contribute $6.33 billion. Colorado’s economy depends on small businesses, sole proprietorships, and large corporations for financial assistance and economic relief through business grants. There are 126,771 businesses and 37,000 farms that operate in Colorado. The grant awarding body may be a government agency, various corporate foundations, or private foundations.
Almost 31,855 companies file bankruptcy in Colorado annually, and the state pays over $87.46 billion in wages and salaries. Businesses cannot receive grants from the federal government to start and expand. Grants are available to entrepreneurs in Colorado for launching and expanding their businesses, and grant beneficiaries do not have to pay back grants. Consider small business grants to gain access to capital to fund your business from the government.
Colorado Small Business Grants
Grants for small businesses are available to Colorado residents. Here are a few Colorado grants you might find useful.
Advanced Industries Collaborative Infrastructure Grant
Through the Advanced Industries Collaborative Infrastructure Grant Program, teams of Colorado-based advanced industries technology businesses and non-profit organizations have the opportunity to build the infrastructure that will enable them to fill gaps in the advanced industries. The maximum amount to be allocated to a collaborative project is $500,000. In the case of projects impacting more than one advanced industry, the maximum grant award is raised.
This project aims to increase the innovation and commercialization of advanced industry products and services by creating an ecosystem enabling advanced industries to flourish. By aligning the interests of private industry with research institutions, this program provides a pathway to create public resources to stimulate the development of advanced industries in Colorado.
As part of the grant program, the Global Business Development division of the Colorado Economic Development Commission administers the grant in conjunction with Colorado’s advanced industry trade associations and the Colorado Economic Development Commission. The application cycle will begin on February 1, 2023.
Advanced Industries Early-Stage Capital and Retention Grant
To help Colorado’s advanced industries technology businesses develop and commercialize advanced technologies created or manufactured in Colorado, the Advanced Industries Early-Stage Capital and Retention Grant offer early-stage capital and retention grants. A maximum amount of $250,000 can be awarded to projects. This maximum grant award can be increased for projects that impact more than one advanced industry.
The market typically underinvests in early-stage technologies because of this. Grants like this are designed to fill gaps that result from an absence in the market. There will be no competition between this grant and any other funding already in place.
During the time period while the grant is active, the Global Business Development (GBD) division of the Colorado Economic Development Commission will administer the grant in partnership with Colorado’s advanced industry trade associations and receive the final approval from the Economic Development Commission. There is an open application call, and the deadline is September 1, 2022.
Advanced Industries Export Grant
The Advanced Industries Export Grant is intended to assist Colorado-based advanced industries technology businesses planning on exporting or already exporting goods and services. Small and medium businesses are eligible organizations that can apply for this grant. Reimbursement is provided for marketing and business development expenses related to international business activities. A maximum amount of $15,000 is available to businesses, and up to 50% of the approved expenses are reimbursed.
This program also contributes to the funding of the Global Consultant Network. Those with businesses in Colorado who wish to expand into other countries can receive consulting support to help them with that process. A typical consulting project lasts between three and eight months, depending on the type of service.
Advanced Industries Proof of Concept Grant
Through the Advanced Industries Proof of Concept Grant, Colorado research institutions can receive funding to help them accelerate applied research in advanced industries and commercialize products and services with the private sector. Grant money of up to $150,000 can be awarded to projects that meet the criteria. In the case of joint proposals or projects with more than one advanced industry impact, the grant awarding body can lift the maximum amount awarded.
Projects must accelerate the commercialization of products or services through pre-commercial research and preparations for commercialization. You cannot fund basic research through the grant program. Several milestones can be funded, including:
- A proof of principle
- Protection of intellectual property (IP)
- Technical validation and prototypes
- Assessment of the market
- Costs associated with starting a business and forming a corporation
September 1, 2022, is the deadline for applications.
Business Foundations Technical Assistance Program
Small businesses in Colorado can get technical assistance and small grants through the Business Foundations Technical Assistance program. Businesses must complete three training paths to receive a certification from this program. A grant of up to $1,200 may be available to businesses once the application period and the necessary process is completed.
These are the three training pathways:
- Registration and Formation – helps you incorporate your business and obtain grants and training programs from local and federal governments.
- Accounting and Finance – helps you create and manage the accounting system for your business, enabling you to report your company’s financial information to facilitate access to finance.
- Digital Marketing and E-commerce – enhance your customer relationships, increases your brand’s presence, and create new opportunities for delivering your products and services through digitization.
After you complete the three training paths and we have reviewed your uploaded documents, you will receive a certificate of completion at the end of the training. If you obtain this certificate, you will be able to demonstrate that you meet the minimum eligibility requirements for our Small Business Accelerated Growth program and the Startup Loan Fund when applying for future programs and funding from our office.
Currently, the program is open to any individual or organization who wishes to register in the technical assistance program, and grant applications will be accepted from the first 400 eligible businesses. To be considered for grant funding, complete the three training paths and submit the application as soon as possible.
A loan fund established by the Colorado Loans to Increase Mainstreet Business Economic Recovery (CLIMBER) provides working capital loans of up to $250 million to Colorado small businesses negatively affected by the pandemic through the year 2023. It will help to promote the recovery of small businesses, save jobs, and help to support the Colorado economy in its recovery.
It is possible for all kinds of lenders, including community development financial institutions (CDFIs), credit unions, and non-profits, to participate in this program and provide loans to their customers who need financial assistance for their small businesses.
Working capital loans between $30,000 and $500,000 are available to small businesses with 5 to 99 employees that were financially stable before the pandemic but now need financial assistance to survive. Small businesses will find the program a secure recovery option due to the low-interest rates and the deferred payment option for one year.
Colorado Community Revitalization Grant
The Colorado Community Revitalization Grant provides gap funding for Colorado’s commercial centers and creative districts. With the support of this grant, projects will be supported that combine creative industry workforce housing, commercial space, performance spaces, community gathering spaces, child care centers, and retail partnerships to support the economic recovery and diversification of the creative sector.
When a grant request exceeds $100,000, the amount of funding awarded will not exceed 50% of the project’s total cost if it is over $100,000. Grant awards will be capped at a maximum amount of $5 million per project to ensure that the funds are distributed as widely as possible. It is possible to receive grants up to $5 million for projects specifically designed for artist live/workspaces, with 50% of the total project cost allocated to grants.
The amount of funding will be determined by the following factors:
- Costs associated with the project as a whole
- Funding sources for permanent projects
- Gap amount required for the project
The Denver Foundation Grants
TDF offers several types of grants to Colorado-based non-profit organizations that do good for their communities, focusing on basic human needs, educational opportunities, leadership, equality, and economic opportunity. There is typically a range of $5000 to $15,000 in grant awards.
Even if TDF’s grants aren’t quite what you’re looking for, it’s worth checking out their site for additional grant resources for non-profits.
Customized Job Training Grants
Depending on the amount of funding available for customized job training grants, Colorado-based entrepreneurs may find the customized job training grants to be a good place to look for funding. CCCS and the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) have teamed up to offer two types of scholarships through their Colorado Community College System (CCCS) and International Trade Office (OEDIT), respectively.
The first program, Colorado First, provides funding to companies relocating to or expanding in Colorado to train new employees. Existing industry is also a second program designed to assist established Colorado companies in staying competitive, implementing new technologies, and preventing layoffs by providing funds to help these companies remain competitive within their fields.
Ballantine Family Fund
Having obtained 501(3)(c) designation as a non-profit organization in Colorado, you may want to consider applying for a grant from the Ballantine Family Fund if you meet the requirements. There are four counties in Southwest Colorado where this is specifically applicable, namely La Plata, Dolores, Montezuma, Archuleta, and San Juan counties. Awards will be presented every quarter, with deadlines ranging from $500 to $5,000, depending on the type of award. The Ballantine Family Fund gives out about $250,000 in grants annually; therefore, if you meet the criteria, it’s well worth your time to apply.
Colorado Fresh Food Financing Fund
Funds from the Colorado Fresh Food Financing Fund are available to non-profits and for-profits working on expanding access to food. In this program, low-income or disadvantaged consumers and rural communities can receive awards of up to $50,000. They can use the money to buy land, operate a business, and do many other things. Business plans and financial projections are minimum requirements, at least past the ideation phase.
Choose Colorado Rural Business Funding
There are many resources for small businesses in rural areas, which you can find on our list of Colorado small business grants. Choose Colorado is the next on our list of Colorado small business grants. The resources you’ll find here are a mix of state financial assistance programs, tax credits, and grants for small businesses. Suppose you are looking for grant opportunities in rural development. In that case, you might have to do some work digging, but you will usually find a lot of money available for companies that are doing good work in the area.
Choose Colorado Startup Resources
You might want to check out the Choose Colorado resource for business startups if you have a new Colorado Business and are looking for Colorado small business grants. In the same vein as the rural hub, this list offers several resources for Colorado-based small businesses and startups. It is important to note that plenty of other programs may be of interest to you, such as federal lending programs and tax credits, but you might find some grant opportunities that might be of interest to you as well.
Make sure you keep Colorado GrantWatch in mind when you’re thinking about central hubs for finding Colorado small business grants that you should keep an eye out for opportunities regularly. Some opportunities are not just available to Colorado-based small businesses, like some other grant aggregators. However, there are a variety of Colorado small business grants available across various industries, sectors, and more – some of which apply to your business. It would be best if you also kept an eye on Colorado GrantWatch because it frequently updates, which lets you know what’s new and what’s accepting business grant applications right now.
Amber Grant for Women
You may consider the Amber Grant if you are a Colorado-based female entrepreneur. This grant is specifically awarded to women-owned businesses. An award of $10,000 is given to women entrepreneurs every month by the Amber Grant judges. One of the twelve monthly winners will receive $25,000 after all the monthly prizes have been awarded for the year, meaning if you win both the monthly and yearly prizes, you will net $35,000 overall.
You’ll need to fill out a short application and submit some personal information in addition to paying the $15 application fee if you’d like to apply for an Amber Grant. Since the application doesn’t require much information, it is also recommended that you provide additional information about what your company would do if you were awarded the grant. That will help the committee understand what makes your business stand out and why a grant would be important to it.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Small business grants in Colorado may include state-funded programs, local economic development initiatives, and grants offered by private organizations or foundations. These grants cater to various industries, such as technology, agriculture, tourism, and retail, and may target specific demographics, like women or minority-owned businesses.
To find small business grants in Colorado, visit websites for state and local government agencies, such as the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) or your local chamber of commerce. You can also search for grant opportunities from private organizations, foundations, or business associations by conducting online research or networking with other small business owners in your industry.
The application process for Colorado small business grants varies depending on the specific grant program. Generally, the process involves completing an application form, providing information about your business, outlining your proposed project or plan, and demonstrating how the grant funds will be used. Some grant programs may require additional documentation, such as financial statements, business plans, or letters of recommendation. Carefully review the grant requirements and follow the application guidelines provided by the grantor.
The Bottom Line
While you await the approval of your small business grant, you may wish to consider other small business loan options while you wait since securing a grant can take time. Small business owners and minority-owned businesses in Colorado have many loan programs that can assist them with starting or expanding their businesses.
Suppose you can’t locate small business grants in Colorado. In that case, you may need to broaden your search outside of Colorado’s borders and consider small business grants in other states if you’re having trouble finding small business grants in Colorado. Several grants specifically designed for underrepresented populations are available to small and mid-sized businesses nationwide.
If you live in Minnesota instead, read our article about grants for small businesses on Minnesota today.
Are you interested in learning more about different grants and programs that can help you with your living situation? Check out the rest of Gov Relations’ blog section today!