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Colorado Small Business Owner Highlight
After a 30-year career as a litigation paralegal, Cassandra Allen-Brown decided on a less conventional retirement, opting not for a sunny beach in Florida—but for a little yarn shop in downtown Denver instead.
Small Business Majority has created a comprehensive state policy agenda to ensure entrepreneurship is at the center of a thriving and inclusive economy in Colorado. The state’s nearly 690,000 small businesses employ 1.2 million people, accounting for 99.5% of all businesses in Colorado.
On Feburary 22, Small Business Majority's Colorado Director Lindsey Virgoda testfied before the Colorado Senate Health and Human Services Committee in support of SB 24-080, legislation that will require health insurance carriers to comply with federal price transparency laws and pharmacy and drug cost reporting laws.
On February 21, Small Business Majority's Colorado Director Lindsey Vigoda provided comments before the Colorado Senate Health and Human Services Committee on Senate Bill 24-073.
On December 8, Small Business Majority's Colorado Director and National Quality Jobs Policy Director, Lindsey Vigoda, provided comments to the Colorado Prescription Affordability Board regarding affordability reviews of prescription drugs in Colorado, a key issue impacting Coloradans and small businesses alike.
As entrepreneurs continue to navigate business and economic challenges stemming from pandemic, Small Business Majority surveyed small business owners and operators in Colorado to assess business conditions and the rising costs of healthcare.
During a series of three focus groups across the state of Colorado, Small Business Majority facilitated discussions with a variety of small business owners and self-employed workers to better understand their personal experiences that could inform policy conversations regarding Medicaid expansion, healthcare costs and coverage. These roundtable discussions occurred while COVID-19 dramatically impacted business and local economies. While the pandemic’s effect was often brought up by participants, this issue brief focuses on the broader impact of Medicaid expansion and of small business owners’ experiences and observations about Medicaid expansion and health insurance.
The Colorado state legislature is considering a bill that would make Colorado the seventh state in the country to establish a program guaranteeing access to paid leave to care for a newborn child or a sick family member. Small business owners and their employees are particularly affected by the current lack of access to paid family leave as many small businesses can’t afford to offer robust benefits, putting them at a disadvantage with their larger counterparts. Small business has been central to ongoing debates over the legislation, and new polling sheds light on their views on the proposal and their struggles to offer access to paid family and medical leave benefits.
Colorado voters approved Proposition 118 in November of 2020, paving the way for a state-run Family and Medical Leave Insurance (FAMLI) program. FAMLI will allow small employers in Colorado to facilitate access to paid time off to their employees when they need to care for a family member. This is crucial for small businesses and their employees and a welcomed initiative in Colorado.
Colorado SecureSavings is a new state workplace retirement savings program created by the Colorado SecureSavings Board. The program is designed to help Colorado employers and employees set automatic payroll contributions to a Roth Individual Retirement Account (IRA) account and save for the future. Colorado SecureSavings is an added benefit to offer and comes at no cost to employers.
The Colorado Option was established by the Colorado Legislature to give the Division of Insurance the ability to develop standard benefit plans. This allows small businesses to easily compare and choose the plan that is right for them through the individual and small group marketplace.