Colorado’s economy was profoundly impacted by the fires and floods of 2012 and 2013. In addition to physical damages, road closures, employee disruption and loss of a customer base had a severe negative impact on our small businesses. Agriculture businesses additionally suffered crop and livestock loss as well as field damages and loss of equipment. Tourism, a major economic driver in Colorado, supports many small businesses in the Colorado mountains and along the Front Range. Those small businesses reliant on tourism tend to hire many service sector employees of low and moderate income that are particularly vulnerable during an economic downturn.
In response to these challenges, the State of Colorado established the Recovery Colorado Business Grant Program for small businesses, received a waiver from HUD to offer Tourism Marketing grants to impacted communities, and established an Agriculture Business Grant program to keep farmers and ranchers in business in our impacted rural communities. The Business Grant and Tourism Marketing programs were managed by the Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) and the Agriculture Business Grant program was managed in partnership between the Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) and the Department of Local Affairs (DOLA).
- Agriculture Business Grants
The Agriculture Business Grant program provided grants to impacted farmers and ranchers so they could remain viable, maintain employees and continue to provide services in the agriculture sector, which is critical to Colorado’s economy.
- Recover Colorado Business Grant Program
The Recover Colorado Business Grant &, Loan program assists small business and non-profits (including special districts). Fifty percent of the funds allocated are for low-and-moderate incomes businesses and individuals.
- Tourism Marketing Program
The Tourism Marketing Grant Program will assist Non‐profit and quasi‐governmental entities in promoting tourism and visitor‐related jobs, job retention and/or economic impact in the Flood Designated Disaster Area as previously defined. These marketing promotional grant funds will be distributed to entities that have tourism and visitor related business communities in their jurisdictions that have suffered concentrated economic losses having a large impact on the local economy relative to the size of the community.