September 8, 2021

Funding & Technical Assistance

Innovative Affordable Housing Strategies Grant Program

HB21-1271 creates three new programs for the purpose of offering grant money and other forms of state assistance to local governments to promote innovative solutions to the development of affordable housing across the state:

·    Affordable Housing Development Incentives Grant Program administered by DOLA’s Community Development Office. Information on guidelines can be found here.

·    Planning Grant Program – administered by DOLA’s Community Development Office. Applicants are strongly encouraged to consult with their DOLA Regional Manager and to get input from CDO staff before submitting a Planning Grant Program application. The deadline for the first review of applications is September 20, 2021

·    Affordable Housing Guided Toolkit and Local Officials Guide Program – administered by DOLA’s Division of Housing. (Affordable Housing Toolkit Program).

Rural Economic Development Initiative Grant Program

Deadline: October 1, 2021. The Rural Economic Development Initiative (REDI) program offered by DOLA is designed to help rural communities comprehensively diversify their local economy and create a more resilient Colorado. The most successful applications to this program are those from counties with less than 50,000 people, and from communities with fewer than 25,000 people. Projects that will be funded include plans, construction, programs, and capacity building. All applications must create and retain jobs, either direct or indirect. Projects should fall into one or more of the following categories: Job creation and retention; Capacity building – Under special circumstances DOLA will consider funding local economic development capacity. Staff must be tied to a specific outcome, project, and timeline, which contributes to goals of job creation, business attraction/retention, and economic resilience; Economic resilience; Supports entrepreneurial ecosystems. All details can be found here .

Colorado Tourism Office: Tourism Marketing Matching Grant Program

Deadline: September 23 | More info here . This grant program awards funding to eligible applicants for projects that promote the state as a tourism destination. Additionally, these grants may be used for marketing projects that support better destination management such as educating visitors on how to recreate responsibly. Changes to the Marketing Matching Grant program for fiscal year 2022 include: Increased the amount of funding available for grant awards to $750,000 (more than what has ever been allocated for the program; in FY 2020, we awarded $392,250 to 19 recipients); The maximum grant award amount has been raised to $40,000 from $25,000; The required match has been lowered by 50% and is now a 2:1 match versus a 1:1 match in previous years. For example, if you request a grant of $40,000, you need to have at least $20,000 in other funding.

EDA Stem Talent Challenge Grants

More info here . The U.S Economic Development Administration’s STEM Talent Challenge  aims to build STEM talent training systems to strengthen regional innovation economies. The FY21 STEM Talent Challenge will award a total of $2 million in grants to organizations that are creating and implementing STEM talent development strategies that complement their region’s innovation economy.  Competition applicants may request up to $250,000 for implementation of a 24-month program. A 1:1 funding match is required.

Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management Hazard Mitigation Grants

Full announcement including deadlines can be found HERE . The Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DHSEM) has announced the availability of three grant programs available through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA): the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP), Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC), and Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA). The funding available in all three of these programs can provide the chance to tackle big mitigation projects with large benefits to Colorado communities. All three programs have a 75% federal cost share for each awarded project, and economically disadvantaged rural communities may receive a 90% federal cost share for awarded projects. More info here.

National Center for Mobility Management 2021 Ready-to-Launch Grants

Deadline: October 15. The Federal Transit Administration, though the National Center for Mobility Management (NCMM) is accepting applications for 2021 Ready-to-Launch Grants . Recipients will receive grants up to $75,000 for communities to pilot a promising mobility solution, the development of which was inspired and informed by the results of community research. The solution being proposed must be a new idea, not the expansion or continuation of an existing service. The solution also must address transportation equity. More info here.

Hometown Grants Program

More info here . In partnership with Main Street America and Smart Growth America, T-Mobile is committing $25 million toward small town grants over the next five years through its Hometown Grants program. The program will award up to 100 towns per year with project funding grants of up to $50,000 each. The program will focus on revitalizing community spaces in towns with 50,000 people or less.

Laura Jane Musser Fund Rural Initiative Program

Deadline: October 1. The Laura Jane Musser Fund encourages collaborative and participatory efforts among citizens in communities. The Rural Initiative Program will help to strengthen individual rural towns in civic areas such as economic development, business preservation, arts and humanities, public space improvements, and education. Eligible applicants are local governments and non-profits with populations of 10,000 or fewer with rural characteristics and support from a diverse cross-section of community members and institutions. Planning grants are available up to $5,000 and implementation grants for up to $25,000.  More info here.

Colorado Health Foundation Funding Opportunities

Deadline: October 15. Details on these opportunities can be found HERE . Maintain Healthy Bodies : Funding Opportunity: Advancing Team-based Care through Technical Assistance; Funding Opportunity: Capital Infrastructure – Intergenerational/Family Physical Activity. Champion Health Equity : Funding Opportunity: Advancing Advocacy and Justice with Communities of Color; Rapid Response Funding: Advocacy. Applications for rapid response funding do not have a deadline and are accepted on a rolling basis.

Colorado Arts Relief Grant

The Colorado Arts Relief Fund provides $15.5 million for the second round of funding to support arts, cultural and entertainment artists, crew members, and organizations affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This program previously provided $7.5 million in early 2021 in its first round of funding. Applications are open. This fund has two separate grant applications, one for businesses and organizations and one for individuals. You may only apply for one. If you are unsure which one you qualify for, please review the eligibility requirements. 

Employee Ownership Trial Grant

Deadline: October 29. The Employee Ownership Trial grant is available to Colorado-headquartered small businesses to pay for the reimbursement of professional technical services required to transition your business to become a Colorado Employee Owned Company. 

Business Foundations Technical Assistance Program

Applications will open in September. The Business Foundations Technical Assistance Program provides technical assistance and small grants to Colorado small businesses to help businesses legally establish themselves. The technical assistance for this program can strengthen the foundation of your business, especially to prepare you for any potential relief programs in the future.  

Community Heart & Soul Seed Grants

Deadline: Rolling | More info here . The Community Heart & Soul Seed Grant Program provides $10,000 in funding for resident-driven groups in small cities and towns to start the Community Heart & Soul model. Grant funding requires a $10,000 cash match from the participating municipality or a partnering organization.  

2021 Off-System Bridge Program

Deadline: October 29. The Special Highway Committee is now accepting grant applications from counties and municipalities with off-system bridges that are eligible for rehabilitation or replacement. Approximately $5.3 million will be available for allocation to municipalities between 2022 and 2024. Municipal applications should be sent to: Meghan MacKillop, Colorado Municipal League, mmackillop@cml.org, 1144 Sherman Street Denver, CO 80203-2207.

Economic Development Administration/American Rescue Plan Act $3 billon in funding available

More info on the EDA website HERE . The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) announced $3 billion in funding opportunities for distressed and underserved communities impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This historic investment, funded by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARP) of 2021, will support bottom-up, middle-out economic development focused on advancing equity, creating good-paying jobs, helping workers to develop in-demand skills, building economic resilience, and accelerating the economic recovery for the industries and communities hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic. Local governments are eligible to apply for grant funding in each of the six programs, along with economic development districts, state agencies, institutions of higher education, nonprofit organizations. The EDA is encouraging regional applications. All information on this funding opportunity, along with details about each of the 6 programs available, can be found on the EDA website HERE .

Training Opportunities & Events

National Small Business Week

September 13-15 | Virtual Summit | More info and register here . Join the SBA September 13 – September 15, 2021, for the National Small Business Week Virtual Summit to learn new business strategies, meet other business owners, and chat with industry experts. This free online event will include educational webinars, updates on resources for small businesses and a networking chat room for business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs.

Job Quality as a Business Retention and Expansion Strategy

September 15 | 10:00 a.m – 11:30 a.m. | Virtual – Register here . Offered by the Economic Development Council of Colorado. For Economic Developers, growing and attracting quality jobs is key in our ability to build sustainable and resilient economies. There are many benefits, both to the employers and employees, in improving job quality. Employers need dedicated employees to carry out their goals, objectives, and to remain competitive and in the same respect, employees are prioritizing quality jobs more than ever before. The nexus between this relationship lies the opportunity to grow a more equitable economy.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Hiring Remote Employees

September 30 | 2pm to 3pm | Virtual | Register here .

Offered by the SBDC and Energize Colorado. Hiring is hard. Hiring remote employees that you’ve never met and may never meet is really hard! During this panel discussion we’ll talk to hiring experts on how they think about hiring remote employees and some tips they have for doing it effectively. 

Demystifying Entrepreneurship

Oct. 22 – 23 | Hayden, CO | $55 | More info and register here

Demystifying Entrepreneurship presented by the University of Colorado Leeds School of Business Deming Center for Entrepreneurship provides an introduction to entrepreneurship and is geared toward anyone considering launching their own business or improving their existing small business. Taught by Erick Mueller & Eric Bruno, entrepreneurs and award-winning professors at the Leeds School of Business, this two-day in-person short course will impart a framework and toolkit in order to develop sought-after products and services, avoid pitfalls and succeed at entrepreneurship.

Colorado Municipal League Special Conference

Sept. 22-24 at the Westin in Westminster, CO | More info here .

The Power of WE (Womens Entrepreneurs) Conference  

September 27 | Salida Steamplant Event Center, Salida, CO | Register here . Offered by Central Mountain SBDC. The Power of WE (Women Entrepreneurs) will offer thought provoking content, resources and tools to inspire women’s leadership development, creativity, and innovation. It will also share the many Federal, State and local funding opportunities that are available to women owned businesses and share tools and resources to access them.

Colorado Creative Industries Summit

September 30 – October 1 in Steamboat Springs | Register here | Offered by Colorado Creative Industries Office.

2021 APA Colorado Planning Conference

September 8-10, 2021 | Keystone CO | Register here .

Colorado Governor’s Tourism Conference

Nov. 2 – 5 in Pueblo | Register here | Offered by the Colorado Tourism Office.

Drive, Lead, Succeed Conference

Oct. 20-22 in Steamboat Springs, CO | Economic Development Council of Colorado | More info here .

Our Annual Drive | Lead | Succeed Conferences aim to provide the knowledge, tools, and connections that are vital to foster a growing Colorado economy.

2021 State Demography Office Annual Demography Summit

November 5. This year’s event will be virtual and free of charge. Save the date.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Funding & Technical Assistance
 
Colorado Tourism Office: Tourism Marketing Matching Grant Program
Deadline: September 23 | More info here. This grant program awards funding to eligible applicants for projects that promote the state as a tourism destination. Additionally, these grants may be used for marketing projects that support better destination management such as educating visitors on how to recreate responsibly. Changes to the Marketing Matching Grant program for fiscal year 2022 include: Increased the amount of funding available for grant awards to $750,000 (more than what has ever been allocated for the program; in FY 2020, we awarded $392,250 to 19 recipients); The maximum grant award amount has been raised to $40,000 from $25,000; The required match has been lowered by 50% and is now a 2:1 match versus a 1:1 match in previous years. For example, if you request a grant of $40,000, you need to have at least $20,000 in other funding.
 
Community Heart & Soul Seed Grants
Deadline: Rolling | More info here. The Community Heart & Soul Seed Grant Program provides $10,000 in funding for resident-driven groups in small cities and towns to start the Community Heart & Soul model. Grant funding requires a $10,000 cash match from the participating municipality or a partnering organization.  
 
Economic Development Administration/American Rescue Plan Act $3 billon in funding available
More info on the EDA website HERE. The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) announced $3 billion in funding opportunities for distressed and underserved communities impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This historic investment, funded by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARP) of 2021, will support bottom-up, middle-out economic development focused on advancing equity, creating good-paying jobs, helping workers to develop in-demand skills, building economic resilience, and accelerating the economic recovery for the industries and communities hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic. Local governments are eligible to apply for grant funding in each of the six programs, along with economic development districts, state agencies, institutions of higher education, nonprofit organizations. The EDA is encouraging regional applications. All information on this funding opportunity, along with details about each of the 6 programs available, can be found on the EDA website HERE.
 
Main Street: Open for Business Grant Program
Applications are now open and accepted on a rolling basis | More info hereThe Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) with funding from SB21-252 will support efforts by local governments and regional collaborations to engage in small business relief through “Main Street: Open for Business.” This Initiative supports façade improvements and energy efficiency projects for businesses in the state’s traditional downtowns.
 
Colorado Office of Economic Development & International Trade Opportunities
OEDIT Programs with open applications:
  • CLIMBER Loan Fund: The Colorado Loans for Increasing Mainstreet Business and Economic Recovery (CLIMBER) fund provides $250 million to small businesses with working capital loans between $30,000 and $500,000. Below-market interest rates and a 1-year deferred payment option make the program a secure recovery option for small businesses.
  • Colorado Revolving Loan Fund: This fund provides loans that help small to medium-sized Colorado businesses negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. These loans range from $5,000 to $750,000. The loans are intended to provide startup and working capital that will help create and retain jobs across Colorado.
  • Meeting and Events Incentive: This program provides $10 million for a 10% cash rebate against eligible hard costs for hosting meetings and events in Colorado that take place on or after July 1, 2021 and on or before December 31, 2022.
  • Restart Industry Associations Program: This program provides awarded tourism industry associations 75 hours of technical assistance and $10,000 of direct marketing from the Colorado Tourism Office to support adoption of the Roadmap to Recovery.
 
Equipment, Training, and Technology for Fire Departments Funded
Deadline: Oct. 1. The Leary Firefighters Foundation is dedicated to funding equipment, education, training, and technology for firefighters nationwide. Grants typically range from $5,000 to $25,000. Letters of inquiry are due August 15, 2021; the deadline for invited applications is October 1, 2021. Visit the Foundation’s website to review the guidelines for the Jeremiah Lucey Grant Program.