Senator Steve Fenberg | Small Business Disaster Relief & COVID-19 Updates
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Small Business Disaster Relief & COVID-19 Updates

19 Mar Small Business Disaster Relief & COVID-19 Updates

 

Updates from the Capitol

Thank you to all of those who’ve abided by the guidelines and recommendations to slow the spread of COVID-19, and for the tireless efforts of those on the front lines. Although the legislature has been temporarily suspended, we’ve been working around the clock with the Governor’s office to ensure the state is doing everything possible to fight this pandemic and ensure Coloradans will be able to get through these uncertain times.

It’s normal to feel stressed, confused, scared, or angry. I encourage you talk with friends and family you trust–with appropriate social distancing, of course!

I will continue to update my Facebook and Twitter with important information, and let you know of any changes the Governor and Legislature make along the way. In order to provide you with as much information as possible in one comprehensive email, I have included a number of resources and updates below.

 

 


Boulder County has put together a website with local resources for accessing economic, housing, food assistance, etc.

 

 

New Website & Fund Launched

 

If you’d like to donate or volunteer in the fight against COVID-19, head to HelpColoradoNow.org. The Colorado COVID Relief Fund has already raised nearly $3 million to help Coloradans impacted by the coronavirus. Organizations helping with the response to COVID-19 will be able to apply for funds starting next week. The fund will support work in three categories: prevention, impact, and recovery efforts. This will include things like medical and cleaning supplies, food services, early childhood education, small business support, behavioral health services, and more.

 

 

NEW: Small Business Disaster Relief

 

 

Governor Polis just announced that Colorado has been approved for Federal Loan Assistance for Colorado’s small businesses impacted by COVID-19. This approval unlocks billions in economic recovery loans where businesses will be able to apply for up to $2 million from the Injury Disaster Loan program. Go here for more details.

 

 

Stay Informed 
For general questions, call (303) 389-1687 or 1-877-462-2911. For written answers in English, Spanish (Español), Mandarin (普通话), and more, email COHELP@RMPDC.org.

Para información sobre COVID19 en Español haga clic aquí (Proporcionado por Denver Health).

 

 

 

COVID-19 Updates

 

 

Newest state measures to respond to COVID-19 

  • Governor Polis applied for a Medicaid 1115 waiver to enroll uninsured patients who are impacted by COVID-19.
  • Spaces that encourage large gatherings have been closed (such as gyms, casinos, and performance spaces).
  • Public gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited.
  • The Governor has begun to relax regulations and remove red tape for medical professionals to ensure an increase in medical and other frontline assistance.
  • Statewide in-person learning at all schools has been suspended until April 17. Denver Public Schools are switching to remote learning for the remainder of the year beginning Tuesday, April 7.
  • The National Guard has been mobilized to help with hospital surge capacity and increased COVID-19 testing.
  • The State launched a new website to centralize information on COVID-19 in Colorado.
  • Governor Polis announced a relief fund to help those struggling and/or who have lost their jobs.
  • Businesses in all 64 Colorado Counties are now eligible in the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program.

 

 

Federal response

Congress passed a multibillion-dollar aid package in response to COVID-19, which was signed into law on Wednesday. The “Families First Coronavirus Response Act” expands Medicaid and unemployment benefits, mandates paid sick leave, and more. The following are some of the mandates in the bill:

  • Paid sick leave and family leave has been expanded for employers of companies with fewer than 500 employees who have been impacted by COVID-19;
  • Those caring for a family member with a COVID-19 diagnosis, or to care for a child under 18 whose school has closed as a result of the outbreak, will be eligible for two weeks of paid sick leave at no less than two-thirds your regular pay rate;
  • Full-time employees will be entitled to 80 hours worth of paid sick time, and part-time employees will be entitled to the number of hours they normally work in a two-week period;
  • $500 million provided in additional funding for the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) nutrition program;
  • $400 million provided in additional funding for the Emergency Food Assistance Program;
  • $82 million provided in additional funding for the Defense Health Program;
  • $250 million provided in additional funding for food programs, including home delivery food programs, for the elderly and disabled;
  • Extensions to, and additional funds for, unemployment benefits;
  • Free COVID-19 testing without co-pays or deductibles.

 

 

 

Resources

 

 

Children & Family Services

Food Assistance

  • Boulder Valley School District is distributing several meals’ worth of food items and fresh produce to families on, and after, March 30, between 11:30am – 1:30pm. They will not be offered next as the District is in Spring Break. The addresses for each of the following location can be found on the BVSD website.
    • Creekside Elementary School
    • Crest View Elementary School
    • Columbine Elementary School
    • Emerald Elementary School
    • Louisville Middle School
    • Nederland Middle-Senior High School
    • Pioneer Elementary
    • University Hill Elementary School
    • Sanchez Elementary School
  • St. Vrain Valley School District is operating 11 drive-through pick-up sites where students, families, and staff can receive lunch and breakfast food items between 11:00am-12:30pm. (Due to anticipated weather on Thursday, March 19, no meal distribution is planned, but will resume on Friday, March 20.) Addresses fro the following SVVSD meal distribution locations can be found on the SVVSD website.
    • Timberline PK-8
    • Northridge Elementary School
    • Altona Middle School
    • Sunset Middle School
    • Soaring Heights PK-8
    • Frederick High School
    • Mead Middle School
    • Lyons High School
    • Hygiene Elementary School (12:00 – 12:30 only)
    • Niwot High School (11:00 – 11:30 only)
    • Learning Services Center (11:00 – 11:30 only)
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) helps individuals and families buy food that is healthy and nutritious. Apply for Health First Colorado through Colorado PEAK.
  • Emergency Family Assistance Association (EFAA) in Boulder offers grab-and-go food bags for pick up at their main office on Yarmouth during regular business hours for Boulder and southern mountain residents.
  • Hunger Free Colorado has set up a Food Resource Hotline for anyone who needs help locating food. Call 855-855-4626, M – F (8 am – 4:30 pm) to find school meals, food pantries, and SNAP and WIC enrollment.

Mental Health

  • Mental Health Colorado has updated its resource page with useful information for those who are struggling with mental health of substance use challenges.
  • Colorado Crisis Services: If you are more seriously concerned about your own mental health or that of someone close to you, you can call the Colorado Crisis Services at 1-844-493-8255 or you can text TALK to 38255.
  • Mental Health Partners is still taking new clients, using telehealth sessions for assessments and evaluations. Please call 303-443-8500 to access those services. 

Rent and Utilities

  • Emergency Family Assistance Association (EFAA) provides financial assistance for utilities, rent, or mortgages for Boulder and southern mountain residents.
  • Coordinated Entry staff will be working remotely and will be conducting assessments via phone only. If you are in crisis and need immediate assistance, call 720-386-9002.
    • Longmont Coordinated Entry: Client should call 303-579-7364 between noon-2:00pm.
    • Boulder Coordinated: Clients should call 303-579-4404 (daily 10:00am – 4:00pm except Tuesdays, from noon-4:00pm).
  • Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) assists low-income families and individuals with their heating costs (ends April 30th).
  • Energy Outreach Colorado is a statewide nonprofit organization that helps Coloradans pay their utility bills during hardship.
  • Xcel Energy agreed not to disconnect residential customers until further notice.
  • Comcast is increasing internet speeds for all customers and offering 60 days of free internet services to low-income families.

Unemployment

  • The Governor has ordered up to four days of paid sick leave for certain workers experiencing flu-like symptoms and awaiting COVID-19 test results.
  • Anyone who has lost their job or had their hours cut due this pandemic may be eligible for unemployment insurance benefits.
  • For employers looking to avoid layoffs, CDLE’s Work-Share Program allows eligible employees to work fewer hours and collect partial unemployment benefits.

 

 

Additional resources

To prioritize your own health and safety, please consult with local health care professionals, and take advantage of the resources that have been provided. Below is some information with up

 

 

 

Ways to Donate

 

 

There are multiple organizations that are spearheading efforts to help our communities. To those who are able to assist, please consider volunteering or donating to a local nonprofit that is helping those impacted by COVID-19.

Here are a few:

  • The Community Foundation has established the COVID-19 Response Fund Boulder County to ensure essential services for community members who find themselves at the intersection of being most vulnerable to the virus and most impacted by inequity.
  • Impact on Education is coordinating volunteers and donations to help deliver meals and items to Boulder Valley Schools. You can sign up to volunteer via this link.
  • Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation set up a COVID-19 Crisis Relief Fund to help restaurant workers stay afloat.
  • Help Colorado Now is a new collaboration between the state and Mile High United Way to connect volunteers with at-risk community members in need.
  • Blood banks are reporting severe shortages due to cancelled blood drives. Vitalant tells you where to donate blood according to your zip code.

 

 

If there is anything my office can do to help, please feel free to reach out and we’ll do everything we can to get you answers to questions or point you in the right direction.

Stay safe,