Denver is dedicating $5 million from its American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds allocation from the U.S. Treasury to the Business Impact Opportunity Fund program. This program is designed to address specific challenges faced by small businesses that have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 public health crisis and who, as a result, often more severely experience economic challenges and hardships.
The Business Impact Opportunity Fund provides assistance to small businesses through a combination of grants of up to $15,000 and technical assistance. Business eligibility requirements apply.
- Applicants may apply for a one-time grant in only one of the grant categories
- Regardless of the grant category selected by and awarded to the business, the grant amount is the same for each category and is based on the annual gross revenue tier
- $7,500 for businesses with annual gross revenue equal or less than $100,000
- $15,000 for businesses with annual gross revenue equal or greater than $100,001
This grant offers capacity-building support for businesses who began operations at the beginning of the pandemic and experienced specific operation challenges such as revenue loss, decreased customers due to COVID-19 precautions, and supply chain and staffing issues.
This grant is intended for those businesses that were not eligible for the earlier COVID-19 relief programs. As such, it is restricted to businesses that began operations between March 12, 2020 (just as the pandemic-related health orders were enforced) and July 1, 2021.
This grant is intended to activate and enhance business and customer comfort levels in designated commercial corridors where business closures (resulting from the pandemic) have produced vacancies, service gaps, and/or conditions of blight. Businesses may only apply for one of the two following subcategories:
Lease or Acquisition: To establish or renew a commercial lease (for a minimum of 12 months) or acquire commercial property (owner-occupied) in specific, designated commercial corridors where business closures (resulting from the pandemic) have produced vacancies, service gaps, and/or conditions of blight.
- OR -
Security Measures: Existing or new businesses located in the designated commercial corridors may seek financial assistance for eligible expenses such as security measures and equipment to provide building and surrounding security.
NOTE: If awarded, eligible activities such as establishing/renewing a commercial lease, acquiring a commercial property, or purchasing and installing security equipment/measures must be planned to occur after the opening date of each application round (that is, the potential to be awarded a grant incentivized the business activity) and within 180 days of receipt of the grant. Disbursement of this grant for purposes of security equipment/measures will be on a reimbursement basis to the business upon providing supporting documentation evidencing eligible expenses.
This grant is intended to keep a business open that is considering closing their doors either as a result of construction impacts on their revenue, or new private development that will displace their businesses. Businesses can only apply for one of the two following subcategories:
Construction Mitigation: To alleviate revenue losses resulting from publicly funded construction projects.
- OR -
Relocation Assistance: To provide financial support in cases where a business has no option but to relocate as a result of impending new development.
NOTE: Disbursement of the relocation grant will be made upon the business providing supporting documentation evidencing involuntary displacement (e.g., non-renewal or eviction not for cause, new lease, purchase and sale agreement, etc.).
Technical assistance can include the following:
- Guidance with completing the grant application, and navigation services to ensure the most vulnerable businesses can access this resource.
- A wide range of capacity-building trainings such as growing your business, bookkeeping/accounting, general marketing, branding and advertising, and contracting opportunities.
- Lease negotiation, eviction prevention, financial assistance readiness, safety measures, and strategies to manage future business disruption.