COVID-19: Colorado Resources
As many of you are aware, the State of Colorado and many municipalities have taken emergency actions to slow the spread of the COVID-19. In addition to closing numerous public venues, and encouraging Colorado residents to practice social distancing, the state is also placing additional requirements on businesses to prioritize the health of employees and the public.
The information and resources provided here includes general state and federal guidance for navigating the COVID-19 outbreak, as well as specific information and resources for business owners.
General Guidance on COVID-19 Response:
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is coordinating state efforts for testing, public information, and guidance at this time. Information provided by the department includes guidance for individuals on virus exposure, testing resources, event restrictions and best practices for slowing the spread of the virus. Additionally, the department is providing regularly updated information on the number of confirmed cases, as well as their geographic region.
The Centers for Disease Control are also providing information and resources for the public to stay informed. The resources provide a national overview of the virus spread, as well as useful information on how to protect yourself.
Business Specific Requirements:
In addition to guidance offered by CDPHE, the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment has crafted emergency rules regarding paid sick leave. Under the emergency rules, employers in specific industries are required to provide up to four days of paid sick leave. This rule only requires pay up to the four day waiting period for virus testing, and does not require employers to replace wages in the event of a positive test.
Additional COVID-19 Response Information for Businesses:
Among the resources provided by the CDC is specific guidance for businesses. The information provided primarily focuses on ensuring staff and customer safety, maintaining a sanitary work environment, and a framework for doing your own risk assessment.
Please note, for businesses operating in hospitality, leisure, child care, and recreation industries, it is important to check whether your hand sanitizer or cleaning materials protect against COVID-19.
Business Funding and Technical Assistance During State of Emergency:
Attempts to slow and prevent the rapid spread of COVID-19 may negatively impact business creating cash flow issues. Right now, there are federal efforts to increase emergency, low-interest loans for small businesses.
We strongly advise business owners to avoid short term, high interest financing options during the state of emergency. We understand there may be a need for immediate financing; however, high-interest products may not meet the needs of your business at this time.
We suggest looking for financing at any of these institutions first:
- Traditional banks
- Community banks
- Credit unions
- Community development financial institutions (CDFIs)
- SBA lenders
- Economic development agencies
- Family and friends
- Personal savings