Denver is dedicating $5 million from its American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds allocation from the U.S. Treasury to implement the Business Impact Opportunity Fund program. This program is designed to address specific challenges faced by small businesses that have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 public health crisis and who, as a result, often more severely experience these challenges and systemic barriers.
The Business Impact Opportunity Fund will provide assistance to small businesses through a combination of grants of up to $15,000 and technical assistance.
- Applicants may apply for a one-time grant in only one of the grant categories.
- Regardless of the grant category selected by and awarded to the business, the grant amount is the same for each category and is based on the annual gross revenue tier.
- $7,500 for businesses with annual gross revenue equal or less than $100,000
- $15,000 for businesses with annual gross revenue equal or greater than $100,001
The following are the types of grants the program provides.
Mitigate specific operating challenges exacerbated by the pandemic, such as depletion of cash reserves, loss of customers due to COVID precautions, continued supply chain and staffing issues.
Establish/renew leases (for a minimum of 12 months) in specific, designated commercial corridors where business closures (resulting from the pandemic) have produced vacancies, service gaps and/or conditions of blight. Under this grant category, existing and new businesses located in the designated commercial corridors may seek financial assistance for eligible expenses, such as security measures and equipment to provide building and surrounding security.
Note: If awarded, eligible activities such as establishing/renewing a lease or purchasing and installing security equipment/measures must be planned to occur after September 8, 2022 and within 180 days of receipt of grant. Disbursement of this grant for purposes of security equipment/measures will be on a reimbursement basis to the business upon providing supporting documentation evidencing eligible expenses.
Alleviate revenue losses resulting from publicly funded construction projects or partial relocation assistance in cases where a business has no option but to relocate as a result of impending new development.
Note: Disbursement of this grant for the purpose of relocation will be on a reimbursement basis to the business upon providing supporting documentation evidencing eligible expenses.
The program's technical assistance will include the following components:
- Guidance with completing the grant application and navigation services to ensure the most vulnerable businesses can access this resource
- Capacity-building to withstand future economic shocks
- Lease negotiation and eviction prevention, financial assistance readiness, safety measures, and managing business disruption such as construction, pandemics, etc.