Boulder Small Business Grant Program

Boulder Small Business Grant Program | Colorado Enterprise Fund

*The Boulder Small Business Grant Program is now closed.

The City of Boulder is partnering with Colorado Enterprise Fund (CEF) to provide grants for local small businesses, including women- and minority-owned businesses and 501c3 nonprofits, with 100 or fewer employees that have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

One-time grants of $1,000, $2,500 or $5,000 that do not need to be repaid will be awarded through a competitive application process administered by CEF. Grant awards will be made until available funds of $675,000 dedicated to this program are exhausted.  The online application will take about 10 minutes to complete.

To be considered, applicants must meet all eligibility requirements and must submit a complete online application to CEF on or before 5:00 p.m. MDT on Friday, September 11, 2020. Applications will be evaluated by CEF and a panel of local nonprofit organizations that serve Boulder businesses or nonprofits using a scoring model to evaluate financial and other factors.

Grant Eligibility: 

  • Small businesses or enterprises (sole proprietors and registered small businesses including LLCs, S-Corps, and other business types) and small 501c3 nonprofit businesses that meet eligibility requirements will be considered for a grant award. Applicants will be required to provide their City of Boulder business/sales tax license number and federal EIN or Tax ID Number. Additionally, applicants must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Be privately held and headquartered in the city of Boulder
  • Have a physical (brick-and-mortar) presence within Boulder city limits
  • Have an active City of Boulder business/sales tax license issued before January 1, 2020
  • Be current on all City of Boulder utility and tax accounts
  • Currently have no more than 100 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees

Note: Federal CARES Act funding will be used for this grant program and businesses in the marijuana industry are not eligible to participate.

For more information on resources available to Boulder businesses, visit the City of Boulder Coronavirus Business Resources page. 


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General FAQs

In response to the devastating effects COVID-19 has had on our community’s small businesses and nonprofit organizations, the City of Boulder has created a competitive grant application process for small businesses and 501c3 nonprofit organizations, providing up to $5,000 of grant funding to assist with business-related costs incurred due to the COVID-19 economic disruption such as: rent/mortgage/utility payments; employee payroll; accounts payable and other fixed debt costs; and personal protection equipment (PPE). Under the CARES Act, the federal funds may only be used to cover costs that are necessary economic recovery expenditures incurred due to the COVID-19 public health emergency incurred no earlier than March 1, 2020.

The Boulder Small Business Grant Program will accept applications beginning August 31, 2020 at 8:00 AM through September 11, 2020 at 5:00 PM. Applications will NOT be evaluated on a first come, first served basis. Rather, all applications submitted during the application period will be evaluated.

Colorado Enterprise Fund will let applicants know if they have been selected to receive a grant. Grant notifications and payments are expected to be made in early October 2020. The Boulder Small Business Grant Program is a grant program, and grant funds received through the program do not have to be repaid. However, this grant source should be noted as income and all taxes associated with the acceptance and/or usage of grant awards are the sole responsibility of the grantee, and the grantee shall comply with all applicable federal, state, local laws, executive orders, rules, and regulations in connection with acceptance and/or usage of grant funds.

No. The Boulder Small Business Grant Program is a competitive application process. Applications will be accepted August 31, 2020 at 8:00 AM through September 11, 2020 at 5:00 PM. All applications submitted in completion, with all necessary documentation, will be equally evaluated by Colorado Enterprise Fund staff and a local review panel. All decisions of CEF and the evaluation review panel will be final. There may be additional communication with grant recipients to reflect federal reporting requirements.

No. We encourage businesses in need to apply even if you have already received other relief funding. If awarded, you may have to verify with program staff how the expenses you were requesting were not already supported by another relief funding source.

Information on the Boulder Small Business Grants Program (including eligibility, required information and the competitive process) can be found on the city’s COVID-19 Business Resources webpage or the Boulder Small Business Grant program webpage. Boulder-based small businesses and 501c3 nonprofits with 100 or fewer employees, operating from a bricks-and-mortar location in the Boulder, Colorado city limits, that experienced a disruption in their business due to the COVID-19 pandemic are eligible to apply for a grant through the program. Publicly traded entities are not eligible and, because the source of funds arises out of the federal CARES Act, marijuana industry businesses are also ineligible. Employees (and their relatives) of Colorado Enterprise Fund and review panel member organizations having personal business interests in any applicant business will also render that business ineligible to apply under this program.

To determine if your address is within Boulder city limits, click here.

The City of Boulder will provide a total of $675,000 in grants through this competitive grant program. One-time grants in the amount of either $1,000, $2,500 or $5,000 will be awarded until all available funds dedicated to this program are exhausted. It is anticipated that grants payments will be made in early October. Treasury guidance states that businesses awarded grants under this program should consider the awards taxable income. The city recognizes that funding is limited and notes that the number of applicants may exceed available funding, and it is likely that not all applicants will be awarded a grant. 
Uses of the funds will be determined by the applicant but are intended to help small businesses that have experienced a business disruption and incurred economic loss or increased business expenses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  In accordance with federal guidance, businesses that are awarded grants under this program should consider the awards taxable income, and there may be additional federal reporting requirements regarding the use of awarded funds. 
No. All complete applications submitted to CEF on or before Friday, September 11, 2020 will be reviewed to determine eligibility and evaluated based on a scoring model that considers financial and other information provided by applicants including the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on business operations, financial need, intended use of funds, and other factors.  Application scoring will determine the amount of awarded grants under this competitive grant opportunity. It is likely the number of eligible applications will exceed available funds, and not all applicants will receive grants. 
Complete applications will require applicants to provide their City of Boulder business license number and federal EIN or tax ID number, as well as a modest amount of financial and other business information. Businesses will also be asked to provide information about the impacts of the pandemic on their business and proposed use of funding. Finally, the process will seek some information which will not be scored but aid in appreciation of access to recovery-related funding such as application and receipt of funds through the  federal Economic Injury Disaster Loan  (EIDL), Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)  and other loan and grant programs. Information provided on applications will remain confidential and be used for evaluation purposes only. The application will take about 10 minutes to complete. 
The City of Boulder highly values businesses of all types and across all industries. The Boulder Small Business Grant Program is focused on support for small businesses and 501c3 nonprofits with fewer than 100 employees that are headquartered in Boulder. Additional consideration will be given to businesses or nonprofits that provide community access to affordable and inclusive goods or services and women- or minority-owned businesses. Eligibility criteria and the scoring model reflect goals outlined in the Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan and City of Boulder Citywide Retail Strategy.   

Small businesses or enterprises (sole proprietors and registered small businesses including LLCs, S-Corps, and other business types) and small 501c3 nonprofit businesses that have experienced a business disruption due to COVID-19 and meet the following criteria are eligible for a grant award.  

  • Be privately held and headquartered in Boulder
  • Have a physical (brick-and-mortar) presence within the city limits of Boulder. To determine if your address is within Boulder city limits, click here 
  • Have an active City of Boulder business license and, as applicable, an IRS 501c3 nonprofit designation number 
  • Be in good standing with city (current on all city fees, taxes, and utility payments)
  • Have 100 or fewer full-time equivalent (FTE) employees

The program’s selection criteria will consider: 

  • Financial assessment 
  • Status as a women- or minority-owned business
  • Length of time operating in Boulder
  • Described need and proposed use of funds as they relate to the direct impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Provision of locally available inclusive and/or affordable goods and/or services
No. You cannot change your application once it has been submitted. 

The timeline for the grant program is as follows:

  • Grant application opens – Monday, August 31, 2020 at 8 a.m. MDT
  • Grant application closes – Friday, September 11, 2020 at 5 p.m. MDT
  • Grant notifications and payments – Early October 2020
501c3 organizations based in the City of Boulder are eligible to apply under this competitive grant program.