Economic Relief

With many businesses opening back up, the city continues to work in partnership with a local nonprofit, philanthropic, and private industry partners to serve Denver’s needs. If you need additional assistance, please contact 311/211.

5 Star State Certification Program

Denver received approval on February 4 from the State to begin certifying businesses under its 5 Star Certification Program. The program encourages businesses to implement COVID-19 safety measures beyond what is already required by public health orders and guidelines. In doing so, businesses will be able to expand operational capacity and help Denver’s overall economy recover. The list of certified businesses will be posted on once businesses are notified and sign their acceptance letter. Per State order, businesses that are certified for Denver’s 5 Star Certification Program will not be able to operate Level Blue capacity restrictions until 70% of people ages 70 and over have been vaccinated statewide. Learn more.

Variance Requests 

The City and County of Denver variance request process follows the requirements from the State of Colorado and holds public health as the top priority in the consideration of all requests. Please be aware that the process requires review time and may take several weeks to complete. Additionally, the processing of requests may be paused or delayed at any time based on trends with community transmission.

On February 3, 2021, the State of Colorado issued the Fifth Amended Public Health Order 20-36, which revises the "Safer at Home Dial." The amended order places counties in different levels based on certain metrics related to COVID-19 cases and, depending on that level, implements certain restrictions on the types of variances the county may seek. As of February 6, 2021, Denver is in Level Yellow of the Safer at Home Dial. 

Counties in Level Yellow on the Safer at Home Dial may apply for outdoor site-specific variances. Only venues that exceed 30,000 square feet will be considered by CDPHE for a variance. If a venue has multiple uses or sectors included in it, the variance must specify how the venue proposes to meet the requirements for each use or sector.

 Submit a Variance Request

Variances are not allowed if a county is in Level Orange, Level Red or Level Purple.

Denver’s level may change, and along with that, the types of variances it may seek may change, as well.  However, variances may only be requested for allowances laid out in the next level of the State’s dial framework from the level where we are currently.

Additional Assistance for Businesses

Colorado Artist Relief Fund

The Colorado Artist Relief Fund is a partnership between Denver Arts & Venues, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Colorado Creative Industries and RedLine Contemporary Art Center. Please visit RedLine’s website for more information. Please note, this is a new partnership with continued relief support, but not a new fund.

Due to an overwhelming amount of applications, the Colorado Artist Relief Fund has been temporarily closed. In the meantime, individuals, foundations and organizations can contribute to the Colorado Artist Relief Fund. If foundations or corporations are interested in partnering on this initiative, they should contact


Denver Microloan Program

  • City-wide program
  • Provides loans from $5,000-$50,000
  • Provides lending capital and support services to small businesses to support their stabilization efforts
  • Focus on targeted industries located in most vulnerable neighborhoods as identified by Denver’s Neighborhood Equity & Stabilization Team.

Federal Small Business Support

Small Business Association (SBA)  Economic Injury Disaster Loans are available for qualifying businesses in Colorado suffering from substantial economic injury due to COVID-19. Learn more here:


Resources for Buildings

Considerations for Low Occupancy Buildings

  • U.S. Department of Energy's presentation on managing buildings during a shutdown  
  • The Institute for Market Transformation (IMT) has a checklist for managing office buildings during COVID-19 
  • IMT has a template for tenant engagement recommendations for low-occupancy buildings

Safety & Lowering Virus Transmission

Saving Energy to Save Money  

Saving Water in Buildings

Tax Relief

Sales and Use, Occupational Privilege, Seat Taxes

The City and County of Denver will continue to waive the 15% penalty for late payment for sales and use, occupational privilege, and facility development admissions (seat) taxes.

  • Businesses must still file their April tax returns and remit the tax funds within 30 days of the due date (penalty will be waived if tax returns are filed and taxes remitted by June 15th for seat tax and June 20th for sales, use and occupational privilege taxes). 

This is the third consecutive month in which the Department of Finance (DOF) has waived the 15% late penalty to provide relief to businesses. DOF will evaluate the extension of the waiver on a month-by-month basis.


2020 Business Personal Property Declaration Filing Deadline Extension

The 2020 Personal Property Declaration filing deadline will be extended from April 15, 2020, to June 15, 2020, as allowed by Governor Polis’ Executive Order (XO) #D 2020 022.

Real Property Tax Relief Efforts for Residents and Businesses

Governor Jared Polis’ Executive Order #D 2020 031 authorizes county treasurers to extend the waiver of interest on late payment of property taxes through April 30, 2020. The action also allows property owners who had previously chosen to pay property taxes all at once to pay in installments.

Effective immediately, Denver will:

  • Waive 100% of late payment interest through April 30, 2020 (original order was through April 20).
    • Property owners who have not yet paid the first installment of property taxes may now pay their first installment on or before April 30 with interest waived. The second installment is due June 15, 2020.
    • Property owners who intended to pay in full on April 30 may still do so or may now choose to pay in two installments. The first half is due April 30 and the remainder is due June 15, 2020.