$250,000 in grants will be awarded to Business for All applicants needing access to capital. Grantees will be selected by an esteemed council of leaders from across the business ecosystem, representing diverse organizations, industries, locations and demographics. At least 11 out of 15 grants will go to New Majority business owners, including women, people of color, LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs, military connected business owners, and entrepreneurs with disabilities.
Visa has extended its partnership with IFundWomen to support Black women-owned small businesses in the United States through a new grant program and educational resources. These grants provide an opportunity for recipients to grow their businesses and continue to offer much needed services to their local (and global) communities. Applications are being accepted from June 30, 2020 through July 31, 2020.
Since its inception, Spanx and The Spanx by Sara Blakely Foundation have been dedicated to elevating and supporting women through entrepreneurship. Knowing the ripple effect that empowering women can have to strengthen communities, the foundation donated $5 million to support female entrepreneurs in the wake of COVID-19 and teamed up with GlobalGiving to establish The Red Backpack Fund. GlobalGiving is making at least 1,000 grants of $5,000 each to female entrepreneurs in the U.S. to help alleviate the impact of the crisis.
Small businesses across the country, the backbone of our nation's economy, are facing potentially devastating economic pressure as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. LISC Small Business Relief Grants are in the fourth round of accepting grant applications, which is made possible with the generous support of Lowe's, Synchrony and Trust.
Q: Are face coverings still required? Yes for employees and optional for customers as long as you provide 6 foot distancing. Same in restaurants, masks required until you are seated. Denver says masks will be around indefinitely. Colorado Springs is considering masks in every public place. The extend to which masks work or don't work to prevent the spread is secondary to the fact that it's a public courtesy to honor others by matching their need for you to wear a mask.
Q: Can we allow group gatherings?
Up to 10 if you meet the requirements (with face coverings) and up to 50 for life rites gatherings (like weddings, reunions) with a variance request. The next phase will allow groups up to 175, but if we don't stem the rate of new cases and flatten the curve, we could lose our variance. Larimer County Public Health is releasing a dashboard to help the community understand risk and COVID-19 data relevant to us.
Q: How can I get involved in County recovery decisions and opportunities?
Larimer Recovers is hosting task forces in a number of business categories. The Chamber is participating to be the voice of business in the Estes Valley, but we welcome members of the business community. Contact Laura Levy.
Colorado Workforce offered up free retail training through a Wal-Mart grant. These days who has budget for training and development? Take advantage of this free training here.
Q: What is the Colorado Tourism Board doing to help encourage vacations here?
The Colorado Tourism Office (CTO) is changing its message to support healthy vacations! This week they published a toolkit with assets like this one-minute video featuring a host of animated Colorado creatures sharing five steps to keeping everyone safe. The Care for Coloradans initiative also includes a new Responsible Travel edition of the “Are You Colo-Ready?” brochure, as well as a poster that will hang in all Colorado Welcome Centers.
Check our Facebook page to track all the great articles that Visit Estes Park is getting published to drive visitors here.
On the note of tourists, it's confusing, we know, about the masks. The Town ordinance has been abolished, but Larimer County still asks us to wear masks at work. More details here.
Q: What's the news on Rocky Mountain National Park?
We hear that tourists are cancelling reservations because of the timed entry at Rocky. You can read in National Parks Traveler that we're not the only ones getting used to this. Please help us get the word out about how easy it is to make reservations with the Recreation.Gov app. It took me 2 minutes and 41 seconds, but they need to book a few weeks in advance. Urge them to make their park reservations when they make their hotel reservations. The Park assures us that your vacationers will be able to easily get their permit when their reservation window opens. Go on recreation.gov and see availability for each day and get real time data.
As of Wednesday, July 1, reservations to enter the park will go on sale at 10 a.m. Mountain Time through www.recreation.gov for the month of August and any remaining days that have not been booked for July. On August 1, reservations will be available for the month of September and any remaining days that have not been booked for August. On September 1, reservations will be available for the month of October and any remaining days in September that have not been booked. Just a reminder, reservations are required for all areas of the park, including outlying areas when arriving by a vehicle; no matter whether a visitor parks within the park or outside the park. Q: Can I still order hand sanitizer through the Chamber?
Thanks for your patience as we tried to supplement your needs for PPE by creating a co-op order. Thanks to a few members and friends of the Chamber, we have new options for you so we can get back to being a Chamber. Here are some new sources for supplies:
We have a new member – Safe On Site Sanitization – who is able to provide hand sanitizer at a similar price and faster delivery. Order at 720-442-2511 or 970-773-8800 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can order masks for 50-70 cents each at:
Rocky Mountain Pharmacy, near Safeway, at email@example.com OR
Country Market, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The branded masks from Visit Estes Park are free for your employees or $2.50 each to purchase. Contact email@example.com.
If you need shields, because they vary in form and cost, there's no good way to get a bulk order. You might inquire with the retailers who have them installed or contact Kent Smith through the Member Info Center.
Q: What is the county doing to provide tax relief for property owners? Hopefully you already got word on the delay for property tax payments. We did appeal to county resources for property tax relief due to a deficit of income over the past weeks. What we learned is the County administers the receipt of property tax payments and those funds are distributed to multiple entities. The only forum for appeal on the actual amount of property taxes is with the state. We are meeting with state officials tomorrow and will continue seeking a meeting with County Treasurer Irene Josey. We're happy to see vacation rentals listed in the variance request and we have yet to find a voice on property taxes but the Chamber will continue trying.
Q: Where can I make my opinion count?
Advocacy is half of what we do - acting as the voice of business where it makes a difference. When numbers matter, we will encourage you to make your voice heard with