Rep. Dylan Roberts: Access state COVID-19 relief programs today
For Steamboat Pilot & Today
If you, your business or your community are still reeling from the pandemic and the subsequent economic fallout, you are not alone. While many Coloradans are on the road to recovery, lifting up every Coloradan remains my priority. That’s why the Colorado legislature worked hard this year to craft relief programs that will last well into the future. I write today to tell you about some of the help we made available and how to access it for yourself, your family or your business.
As we know in our mountain communities, small businesses create good paying jobs, lively main streets and a strong community. That’s why we created the Colorado Loans to Increase Mainstreet Business Economic Recovery program, which will promote small business recovery. This program, which was allocated $250 million, will provide capital loans to small businesses through 2023. We also created the Colorado Community Revitalization Grant to support creative projects that combine creative industry workforce housing, commercial spaces, performance space, community gathering spaces, child care centers and retail partnerships for the purpose of economic recovery and diversification. The program has $65 million in funding. Visit Climber-Colorado.com to learn more.
We also set aside significant funding specifically for rural economies. The Rural Economic Development Initiative and the Rural Jump Start Program will issue grants and tax credits to help rural communities diversify their local economy and become more resilient. The programs will provide training, offer networking opportunities and create new infrastructure to help improve rural Colorado’s economic resilience, heighten its ability to adapt to change, create new jobs and retain old workforces. Visit Oedit.Colorado.gov/rural-jump-start-program for more.
Returning to work after the pandemic is proving to be a unique challenge. The job market has changed, and some Coloradans may want to change careers, too. The state has $75 million in funding to support job seekers, workers and students in getting the skills, training, work experience and support services needed for in-demand jobs and careers. Visit MyColoradoJourney.com/journey/recovery to learn more.
It was no surprise that Colorado’s artists, who largely rely on in-person performances for their livelihood, were hit hard by the pandemic and the closure of venues. We created the Colorado Arts Relief Grant program, which will provide $15.5 million in funding to support our creative sector. This grant is designed to support the music, theater, dance, visual arts, literary arts and film industries. If you operate an independent music venue, community theater, gallery, art museum, performing arts venue, production company or radio station, you should apply. Visit Oedit.Colorado.gov/colorado-arts-relief-grant to learn more.
The Incentives for Meetings and Events, a bill that I sponsored and passed with bipartisan support, is designed to bring events back to Colorado — this incentive includes weddings and other private events, which the previous grant does not. The state is providing cash rebates to lower the costs of hosting in-person events and to encourage more meetings and events to be booked in Colorado. Visit Oedit.Colorado.gov/meeting-and-events-incentive to learn more.
As individuals in Colorado lost their jobs, paying rent became an impossible hurdle — and tenants and landlords alike struggled. Housing insecurity, an issue I’m working on as a member of the Affordable Housing Transformational Task Force, is being addressed in part by the Rental Assistance Program that provides funds for tenants and landlords. Visit CDOLA.Colorado.gov/rental-mortgage-assistance to learn more.
Along with rent, food is a fundamental expense that no one can or should live without. For those who used Colorado’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program during the pandemic, there is now additional aid. We allocated $3 million to help SNAP recipients access employment, training and other services to find and retain a living wage career. Through the Colorado PEAK website, SNAP recipients can find all the resources they need to start their new profession. Visit ColoradoPeak.Force.com for more.
We have created a one-stop website for all these resources and more, so please visit CoHousedDms.com/powering-the-comeback-resource-guide to learn about these programs and how to access them. Or, if I can help, never hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or on my cell, 970-846-3054.
Dylan Roberts serves Eagle and Routt counties in the Colorado House of Representatives.
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