El Paso County Regional Business Relief Fund Awards $13,858,527 in Grants to 864 Local Small Businesses and Nonprofits

***All award letters will be sent by 5:00 PM on Friday, October 9, 2020. Please read the FAQ’s regarding how you will be notified.***

El Paso County’s Economic Development Department awarded $13,858,527 in grants to 864 local small businesses and nonprofits as part of the El Paso County Regional Business Relief Fund program, making it one of the largest COVID-19 relief programs in the nation led by a local County government. The program was initiated to provide tangible assistance to local businesses and nonprofits adversely affected by the pandemic, as El Paso County continues to focus on its COVID-19 response, recovery, and resiliency efforts. To read our official News Release about the results of the Regional Business Relief Fund, click here. Award Letters will be sent via email beginning October 7, 2020.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

1. How will I know if my small business or nonprofit was selected to receive an El Paso County Regional Business Relief Fund grant award?

If your small business or nonprofit was selected to receive grant funding, you will receive an email directly from El Paso County’s Economic Development Department from the email address: epcrbrf@elpasoco.com. Additionally, attached to the email will be an award letter that depicts the amount of grant funding to be awarded to you, how you can spend it, and other important legal information regarding acceptance of funds. That letter must be signed and returned to El Paso County’s Economic Development Department within fourteen days of the date you received the email in order for your grant award check to be released and sent. The letter may be signed, scanned, and emailed back to epcrbrf@elpasoco.com, or the signed letter may be mailed to:

El Paso County Economic Development Department

Attn: Kayla Huthoefer Nelson

9 E. Vermijo Avenue

Colorado Springs, CO 80903

2. How will I know if my small business or nonprofit was not selected to receive an El Paso County Regional Business Relief Fund grant award?

If your small business or nonprofit was not selected to receive grant funding, you will receive an email from the Colorado Enterprise Fund team informing you of that decision. This email will also contain valuable information about additional resources your small business or nonprofit has access to.

3. If my small business or nonprofit was selected for funding, what am I required to do next?

If your small business or nonprofit was selected to receive grant funding, you are required to do four things:

      1. Sign and return the award letter attached to your award email (sent from epcrbrf@elpasoco.com) within fourteen days of the date you received the award email.
      2. Complete the Economic Impact Report by December 31, 2020. This report will be sent out to you via email by Colorado Enterprise Fund on Monday, November 9, 2020, and you will be able to fill out the report online as you did your initial application.
      3. Keep appropriate records of receipts, invoices, and other relevant documentation regarding how the El Paso County Regional Business Relief Fund grant award was spent for the next five years.
      4. Complete and submit the Pulse survey sent to you every 90 days on behalf of El Paso County’s Economic Development Department through Colorado Enterprise Fund. These 10-question surveys are designed to provide El Paso County with quantitative data about the “Pulse” of our community’s economic development ecosystem as we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.

4. What is the Economic Impact Report?

The Economic Impact Report is a report that all the applicants selected to receive a grant award must complete by December 31, 2020. This required report is a set of survey-style questions asking you to provide an update on your current business operations, as well as how the El Paso County Regional Business Relief Fund grant award has assisted with economic recovery and resiliency for your small business or nonprofit.

5. When will I receive my grant funding award?

You will receive your approved amount of grant funding after you sign and return the Award Letter sent to you by El Paso County’s Economic Development Department. You must complete, sign, and return your Award Letter within fourteen days of the date the Award Letter email was sent to you. The letter may be signed, scanned, and emailed back to epcrbrf@elpasoco.com, or the signed letter may be mailed to:

El Paso County Economic Development Department

Attn: Kayla Huthoefer Nelson

9 E. Vermijo Avenue

Colorado Springs, CO 80903

6. How will I receive my grant funding award?

For small businesses and nonprofits selected to receive grant funding, grant awards will be distributed through checks made out by El Paso County. These checks will be mailed to the address associated with the W-9 submitted by your small business or nonprofit during the application process. Please note, checks will only be sent after the signed Award Letter is received by El Paso County’s Economic Development Department.

7. Where will my grant award check be mailed?

Grant award checks will be mailed to the address associated with the W-9 submitted by your small business or nonprofit during the application process. Please note, checks will only be sent after the signed Award Letter is received by El Paso County’s Economic Development Department.

8. Who will my grant award check be written out to?

Grant award checks will be written out to the business and/or individual associated with the W-9 submitted by your small business or nonprofit during the application process. Please note, checks will only be sent after the signed Award Letter is received by El Paso County’s Economic Development Department.

9. What may my small business or nonprofit use the El Paso County Regional Business Relief Grant Funds for?

During the application process, your small business or nonprofit was required to identify exactly what, if awarded, the Regional Business Relief Fund grant awards you receive would be spent on. Through the evaluation process, your application was deemed eligible and approved to spend funds on only the following:

  • Rent/Mortgage/Utility Payments
  • Employee Payroll
  • Accounts Payable
  • Other Fixed Debt Costs
  • Personal Protection Equipment.
  • NONPROFITS: If awarded grant assistance through the El Paso County Regional Business Relief Fund, grant funds may only be used for business operations and not direct client services.
  • Under the CARES Act, the federal funds may only be used to cover costs that are necessary economic recovery expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency with respect to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19); and were incurred no earlier than March 1, 2020.
  • Please Note: El Paso County Regional Business Relief Fund grant funds are not to be used for any payment of taxes.

10. Why did my small business or nonprofit receive less funding than we requested in our application?

Grant awards were decided through a multi-tiered evaluation process between Colorado Enterprise Fund and El Paso County’s Economic Development Oversight Committee. To ensure the El Paso County Regional Business Relief Fund impacted as many small businesses and nonprofits within El Paso County as possible, a variety of formulas and scoring processes were put in place to determine the appropriate amount of funding to allocate. Based on factors such as identification of how funds were used, verification of 2019 revenue, evaluation rubric score, and more, some applicants received 80% or less of what they originally asked for.

11. Why was my small business or nonprofit not selected to receive a grant award?

There are many factors that went into this decision, and we appreciate your time and openness in sharing information about your small business or nonprofit with us. Ultimately, small businesses and nonprofits that were not selected for funding fall under one or more of the below categories:

      1. Missing required/completed application documentation
      2. Does not meet eligibility requirements
      3. Not in good standing with State or Federal agencies and/or does not have required licensing
      4. Other

Applications for this Regional Business Relief Fund were collected, analyzed, and scored by Colorado Enterprise Fund, an organization with over 40 years of experience in funding and supporting small businesses in Colorado, with final evaluation and grant award decisions made by El Paso County’s Economic Development Oversight Committee.

The El Paso County Regional Business Relief Fund is no longer accepting applications. The application process was only open between August 12, 2020 at 8:00 AM and September 7, 2020 at 5:00 PM.

CONTACT US:

Kayla Huthoefer Nelson

Economic Development Project Manager

epcRBRF@elpasoco.com

9 E. Vermijo Avenue

Colorado Springs, CO 80903