Restaurants, event venues, movie theaters can get pandemic assistance

Other businesses may still access programs, including PPP loans


More than a year after the pandemic began upending the economy, federal assistance is still available for many types of businesses, with a fund aimed at restaurants expected to open up soon.

Another grant program provides help for event venues, performing arts, museums and movie theaters.

Other businesses may still access the federal Paycheck Protection Program — commonly known as PPP loans — and another batch of dollars called the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.

Colorado has also compiled a list of local funding sources that it updates regularly.

Here's a look at the different assistance programs.

For restaurants

The Restaurant Revitalization Fund, part of the federal American Rescue Plan Act, will provide $28.6 billion in grants to restaurants and bars in need. Restaurants will able to apply for grants based on lost revenue.

The official application launch date was to be announced soon, according to the Colorado government website as of late April.

For the first 21 days that the program is open, the U.S. Small Business Administration, a federal agency, will prioritize reviewing applications from small businesses owned by women, veterans, and “socially and economically disadvantaged individuals,” according to the state's website.

Following the 21-day period, all eligible applicants are encouraged to submit applications.

For now, the state recommends viewing the list of documentation required to prepare an application.

See more information here.

For events, arts venues

The federal Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program was established by the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Non-Profits, and Venues Act, signed into law in December. The program includes $15 billion in grants to shuttered venues, according to the Small Business Administration.

Entities that can apply include:

• Live venue operators or promoters;

• Theatrical producers;

• Live performing-arts organization operators;

• Museum operators;

• Motion picture theater operators (including owners);

• Talent representatives.

Eligible applicants may qualify for grants equal to 45% of their gross earned revenue, with the maximum amount available for a single grant award of $10 million. The program reserved $2 billion for eligible applications with up to 50 full-time employees.

Applications opened on April 8.

See more information here.

If you didn't get PPP, try again

With a $284 billion congressional package for small-business relief, the federal Paycheck Protection Program reopened the week of Jan. 11. If banks said that a business didn't qualify previously, the business should try again because of the recent changes, according to the state's website.

In addition, to apply for this round, a business does not need to have had the first round of its PPP loan forgiven — it only must have used the money from the first round to qualify for the second round.

If a business has not received a PPP loan before, “First Draw” PPP loans are available.

For those who already received a PPP loan, certain businesses are eligible for a “Second Draw” PPP loan.

To promote “equitable relief for the smallest of small businesses,” the SBA announced that it would make the following changes to the program:

• Allow sole proprietors, independent contractors and self-employed individuals to receive more financial support by revising the PPP's funding formula;

• Eliminate a restriction for small-business owners with prior non-fraud felony convictions;

• Eliminate restrictions on small-business owners who have struggled to make federal student loan payments, by eliminating federal student loan debt delinquency and default as disqualifiers to participating in the PPP program;

• Ensure access for non-citizen small-business owners who are lawful U.S. residents by clarifying that they may use an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) to apply for PPP.

For more information and to apply, see here.

Another general loan for businesses

The Small Business Administration's Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides low-interest loans to small businesses and nonprofits to help overcome loss of revenue due to COVID-19, according to the state's website.

Small businesses that receive a COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan won't have to start making payments on the loan until 2022.

The loan may be used for the following purposes:

• Keeping employees on payroll;

• Paying for sick leave;

• Meeting increased production costs due to supply-chain disruptions;

• Paying business obligations, including debts, rent and mortgage payments.

Eligible entities include small businesses, nonprofits, veterans organizations, tribal businesses and cooperatives with fewer than 500 employees, sole proprietorships, self-employed individuals, and independent contractors.

The Small Business Administration announced that the deadline to apply for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program regarding COVID-19 is extended to Dec. 31.

For more information, see here.

Other sources of funding

An “Alternative Sources of Funding” Google sheet lists other help for Colorado's small businesses. The state's Office of Economic Development and International Trade will be updating this sheet regularly.

See that and other resources on the state's website here.


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