‘Energize Colorado’ Fund to Offer Money to Struggling Firms – CBS Denver

DENVER (CBS4) – A new program starting next week will provide more than $ 25 million in small business loans and grants to Colorado businesses. “Energize Colorado” will prioritize businesses in rural areas, as well as those owned by veterans, women and minorities.

Alan Gionet of CBS4 spoke with business owners who have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

“Our line is wonderful and the people are doing really well,” said Patti Morgan. She was in her space inside the Denver Mart, sort of a wholesaler’s mall on the north side of Denver. It is a sole proprietorship where they sell Scully leather, contemporary and western clothing. When the pandemic hit, they did their best to work with their clients.

(credit: CBS)

“So we postponed the orders. Subsequent shipping dates; we have reduced orders.

But many brick and mortar stores have closed. The company that Morgan’s husband runs is now facing the cancellation of big events where sellers are making big sales.

“We have customers who sell a lot of our products at Cheyenne Frontier Days. We are now very worried about the National Finals rodeo.

(credit: CBS)

We asked if it was frustrating.

“It’s more frightening than frustrating,” she replied.

In another part of the Denver Mart, Jim Sherwood was talking about sales to old friends and customers who came to supply stores in the mountains. He sells a lot of clothing to stores that cater to tourists and operates Evergreen Clothing Company, a store in Evergreen.

“We absolutely cannot back down. We have to move forward, ”he said of retail.

(credit: CBS)

“We know how to do a better job now,” he said of mask wearing and social distancing measures. He explained how small businesses were hit hard when door-to-door orders led to businesses shutting down.

“We all feel the same in retail. You can’t just let the big guys make all the money, ”he said.

Governor Jared Polis and government and business leaders met Wednesday to announce the “Energize Colorado” program to provide loans and grants to small businesses.

“We need to close this gap, not just as a matter of principle, but out of pragmatic concern that these small businesses will be the engine of our economic resurgence as a state,” said CEO Kent Thiry.

Sherwood noted that there are signs of life for some retailers in the right places, like mountain towns, where summer has brought in tourist dollars. Previous closures may have hurt, but he believes Colorado has made progress in preventing the spread of the coronavirus.

“I take my hat off to the governor for doing the right thing at the start, even though it was overwhelming. Just overwhelming for so many people. But I think that now puts us in a position where we can move forward. “

But he noted that a return of stay-at-home orders would be very troubling.

“I think we’re all going to take a stand, we just won’t, we just won’t close. We can’t … and I think the governor and everyone realizes that.

Patti Morgan says their efforts to apply for a federal P3 loan as times got tough were unsuccessful.

“During the first round of the PPP, our bank stopped taking requests. Then when the second go-around came they said they weren’t going anymore because they said they were back.

She was eager to learn more about the new program.

“I’m going to go,” she said.

Sole proprietors, businesses and nonprofits with less than 25 full-time employees can apply for a grant of up to $ 15,000 and a loan of $ 20,000 for a possible combined total of $ 35,000 in assistance. financial. Senator Jeff Bridges said the application process will take less than 15 minutes.

It will be posted on Monday on the site: energizecolorado.com/

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Harold Shirley

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