Business Impact Opportunity Fund

a man in a hat and apron serves a customer at a counter as they compare labels on jars

The City and County of Denver is continuing the Business Impact Opportunity Fund, a program that provides strong and efficient support to small businesses as they work on bouncing back from the economic strife largely caused by the pandemic.


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 $100,000

Acceleration Grant

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.

Activation Grant

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, for security measures within 90 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. Applicants to the Lease or Acquisition subcategory are required to upload documentation evidencing a Letter of Intent or new lease (if leasing) or Purchase & Sale Agreement (if acquiring) or similar documentation.


Anti-Displacement Grant

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: Applicants to the Relocation Assistance subcategory are required to upload supporting documentation evidencing involuntary displacement (e.g., non-renewal or eviction not for cause) or similar documentation. 


Eligible businesses that complete an application must also meet the following criteria to be considered for a grant.
Businesses must meet one of the following:

  1. Your business is located in the pre-qualified areas as identified on the Denver Neighborhood Recovery Index map. To use the Recovery Map:
    • Enter the address of the business using the magnifying glass icon
    • As you type the address, the search function will auto-populate
    • Once the address appears, select it
    • Click once in the surrounding area OR scroll through the arrows in the dialog box until the Full Index Score appears
    • If the Full Index Score is equal to or less than 0.89, your business is eligible

    - OR -

  2. Your business is in one of the following eligible North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes. These NAICS codes have been identified as experiencing at least 8% employment loss from pre-pandemic levels.
    • 23 - Construction
    • 32 – Manufacturing (lumber focused)
    • 33 – Manufacturing (mechanical or chemical)
    • 442 -- Furniture and Home Furnishings Stores
    • 443 -- Electronics and Appliance Stores
    • 448 -- Clothing and Clothing Accessories Stores
    • 451 -- Sporting Goods, Hobby, Musical Instrument, and Book Stores
    • 4522 -- Department Stores
    • 4543 -- Direct Selling Establishments
    • 48 – Transportation and Warehousing
    • 56 -- Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services
    • 61 -- Educational Services
    • 71 -- Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation
    • 72 -- Accommodation and Food Services
    • 81 -- Other Services (except Public Administration)

    For reference, you can access the NAICS codes database

In addition to one of the above, the business must meet these criteria:

  1. Business must be located in the City and County of Denver, in good standing with the Colorado Secretary of State's office, and compliant with all city, state, and federal licensing and taxing authorities.
  2. Had 2022 annual gross revenue of at least $30,000 and a maximum of $5 million.
  3. Be engaged in activities that are legal under Colorado and federal law.
  4. Only if applying for the Acceleration Grant: The business must have begun operations between March 12, 2020, and July 1, 2021. Business must demonstrate a 10% revenue decline using a minimum 90-day consecutive and up to 12-month revenue period, comparing financial projections created prior to commencing operations with actuals for the same revenue period.

A business that began operations on or after March 12, 2020, would use the financial projections prepared for its business plan--a business plan and financial projections prepared without knowledge that a global pandemic would severely impact those revenue projections. Those pre-pandemic projections would be compared with actual “during pandemic” revenue to determine if there was a revenue decline, i.e., the new business failed to meet its projections as a result of the pandemic economic impacts.

EXAMPLE 1: Comparison of a 90-day consecutive period, where the actual revenue was $9,000 in Q2 2020, with the same time period in the business’s financial projections for Q2 2020 where revenue was projected to be $10,000. In this example, the business incurred a 10% revenue loss.

EXAMPLE 2: Comparison of a 90-day consecutive period, where the actual revenue was $9,000 in April, May and June of 2022, with the same time period in the business’s financial projections for April, May and June of 2022 where revenue was projected to be $10,000. In this example, the business incurred a 10% revenue loss. 

  1. Only if applying for an Activation Grant: Your business must be located within, or intending to locate within, a one half-mile radius of the following intersections. To determine this, open Google Maps in your web browser by clicking on one of the desired intersections below. Select “Directions” and enter your existing or new business address. Google Maps will tell you the mileage from your business address and the intersection. Businesses not located or intending to locate within the one-half mile radius will not be considered for the grant. Do not apply for this grant if your location or intended location is not within the one-half mile radius. 
  2. Only if applying for an Anti-Displacement Grant: For a grant to alleviate revenue loss due to publicly funded construction projects, the business must demonstrate a 10% revenue decline using a minimum three-month and up to 12-month revenue period comparing pre-construction revenue with during-construction revenue resulting from public construction impact. Support for relocation where a business is left with no choice but to relocate is restricted to the new location being within the City and County of Denver and within a half-mile radius of the original business location. 


The application deadline for the third round is Monday, October 9, 2023 at 5 p.m. MDT.View the application and apply here

Before starting an application, be sure to review the [Eligibility] tab as specific business requirements apply.  

The following documentation will be needed to complete this application: 

  • Evidence of your business’s 2022 tax year’s gross revenue such as your IRS tax return transcript, annual profit & loss or income statement, or annual sales report.

  • Current certificate from the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office. You can obtain a Certificate of Good Standing or Certificate of Fact of Trade Name for your business at this link. If your certificate is expired or delinquent, you may update the status using the appropriate form found at this link. Search for your business name, click on the ID Number, select “Confirm” (authorized to make changes) and “File Periodic Report.” Call the Secretary of State's office if you need assistance at 303‐894‐2200 and press 2; or email:

  • Acceleration Grant (pandemic impact), you will need two financial documents supporting the revenue loss your business experienced: one showing financial projections created without knowledge that a pandemic would occur or last for several months and another showing actual revenue for the same time period. For the financial projections, a sales forecast is best. An income statement projecting revenue for a minimum of 12 months in business, a projected balance sheet, break-even analysis, or financial ratio are acceptable too. For the “actuals,” a profit and loss or income statement is best. Point of Sale reports, sales reports, or sales tax reports are good. Bank statements will not be accepted for the actual revenue.

  • If applying for the Anti-Displacement Grant (construction impact), you will need two documents supporting the revenue loss your business experienced resulting from a public construction project: one showing pre-construction revenue and another showing during-construction revenue. A profit and loss or income statement is best. Point of Sale reports, sales reports, or sales tax reports are good. Bank statements will not be accepted.

  • Grant awards are based on a combination of factors. Please note that a completed application does not guarantee an award.


The following are a some of the frequently asked questions the program has received. Information sessions and 1:1 application assistance is also available.  

  • Are nonprofits eligible for this grant?
    No, this program is specifically offered to small (for-profit) businesses only. 
  • If my business received financial assistance related to COVID-19, will that affect my eligibility for this grant? 
    No. Eligibility is not affected by the receipt of other grants and loans provided as COVID-19 relief for businesses.  
  • I opened my business prior to March 12, 2020. Can I still apply?

    Businesses applying for the Acceleration Grant must have begun operations between March 12, 2020 and July 1, 2021. The Activation and Anti-Displacement grant categories offer opportunities for businesses (opened prior to March 12, 2020 or new start-ups) so long as all the other eligibility criteria and documentation requirements specific to those categories are met.

  • My business address is my home address, which is located outside Denver city limits, but I operate in the City and County of Denver. Am I still eligible for a grant?
    Yes. Businesses operating out of a home address may be eligible to apply if they conduct business operations within the City and County of Denver and meet the other eligibility requirements. Enter the address that your business operates from. If the address indicates outside the city of Denver, and is a mobile business, you must provide evidence of lease or ownership of real property or permitted operations in the City and County of Denver. For example, a pedi-cab operator that operates in the RiNo District must show evidence of lease of space such as a parking garage space or storage unit in the city. As another example, a food truck must show evidence of a commissary kitchen in the city. Mobile businesses may only count the revenue earned within the City and County of Denver. 
  • If my business has more than one location, can I apply for all of them?
    Yes, you may apply for all your businesses operating in the City and County of Denver and meeting the eligibility criteria. You must complete a separate application for each business location by selecting “Add Another” on the application portal. 
  • Must the financial period selected be a consecutive 90-day period?
    You may choose to compare annually such as comparing a 2020 revenue projection with a 2020 revenue actual, or 2022 pre-construction with 2023 during-construction. However, in some cases, comparing annually may not demonstrate a 10% or greater revenue decline, while comparing a 90-day consecutive period (e.g., May, June and July) may meet the required 10%.  Alternative revenue periods include quarters or year-to-date so long as there is a minimum 90-day consecutive period. For the Acceleration Grant, select your hardest hit revenue period (actuals) to compare with your projections. Or if applying for the construction mitigation grant, select your hardest hit revenue period during construction to compare with pre-construction. 
  • I am having issues logging in and/or creating a profile in the application portal. How can I fix this? 
    The online application works best using Google Chrome. Apple products are not optimal devices but technical issues can be resolved by closing the webpage, clearing the cache, and continue using Google Chrome. Additionally, error messages may appear when there are some invalid characters in the email, so be sure there are no spaces before or after the email address. If the email was automatically entered by the browser, delete the email address and manual type it in correctly, to avoid the error. The use of a computer or laptop is preferred instead of using a phone or tablet.
  • I wasn't awarded funding in earlier rounds. How do I apply again?
    Businesses are encouraged to review eligibility requirements prior to applying for subsequent rounds of funding. Applicants will need to fill out the new application form located on the program website and are encouraged to take advantage of the information sessions and 1:1 application assistance hosted by Mile High United Way.