El Paso County, CO, April 9, 2020 – El Paso County Economic Development, in coordination with local economic development partners, is pleased to launch the first community based, grant-funded program aimed at providing financial assistance to small businesses impacted by COVID-19 in the Pikes Peak Enterprise Zone (EZ).
The Pikes Peak Enterprise Zone (EZ) Business Relief Fund is an avenue for the community to help small, locally owned businesses, now facing layoffs and closures, sustain operations and maintain their workforce through generous donations. Citizens who donate $100 or more qualify for an EZ 25% state income tax credit.
“During this time of crisis and uncertainty, people are looking for ways to support their community. Small businesses are the backbone of our local economy. The Pikes Peak EZ Business Relief Fund is truly a community effort that allows citizens to contribute to the economic recovery of small businesses during these unprecedented times,” said Crystal LaTier, Executive Director of Economic Development.
Small businesses within the Pikes Peak Enterprise Zone will have access to grants up to $7,500. The funds will focus on critical assistance for needs such as rent or mortgage assistance, utility payments, employee payroll, accounts payable, etc. The grant funds will work in conjunction with both Federal and State assistance already available to small businesses.
For community members wanting to donate to the Pikes Peak EZ Business Relief Fund, please make checks payable to “Enterprise Zone” and include “Pikes Peak EZ Business Relief Fund” and the last four digits of your Social Security Number. Credit card contributions cannot be accepted.
Please mail your EZ contribution check to: El Paso County Economic Development, 9 E. Vermijo Ave, Colorado Springs, CO 80903
Additional information about the program and how donations can be made may be found here: https://admin.elpasoco.com/economic-development/enterprise-zone-contribution-projects.
Eligible small businesses will be able to apply for the Pikes Peak EZ Business Relief Fund grant assistance program starting on April 20, 2020.
In partnership, the Pikes Peak Small Business Development Center hosts a no-cost online event, “Relief Funding: A Small Business Roundtable Discussion,” with experts to clarify differences, details, and opportunities related to multiple disaster mitigation resources available to small businesses. The online event is Friday, April 10, 11:30 to 1 p.m. Discussion covers the EZ Business Relief Fund, El Pomar non-profit grants, Exponential Impact Survive and Thrive loans, and the Small Business Administration EIDL Advanced Loans, Paycheck Protection Program, and CARES Act.
Participants must register online today at https://clients.coloradosbdc.org/workshop.aspx?ekey=70400097 or visit pikespeaksbdc.org to receive an email link to view the roundtable discussion on April 10.
Pikes Peak SBDC provides free resources and counseling to guide businesses to the best local and national programs for their businesses as they prepare, respond, and recover from impacts of COVID-19. Following the roundtable, the next SBDC online disaster mitigation event is, Financial and Legal Scams: COVID 19 Cybersecurity Scams & The Impact on Small Business, on April 17. For more information, please visit https://pikespeaksbdc.org/prepare.
El Paso County Economic Development would like to thank the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade, Pikes Peak Community Foundation, and the Pikes Peak Small Business Development Center for their collaboration that helped bring the Pikes Peak EZ Business Relief Fund program to the Pikes Peak region.