Polis asks SBA to distribute emergency loans

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DENVER — Gov. Jared Polis sent a letter to the U.S. Small Business Administration Tuesday requesting disaster declarations and emergency loans for Colorado businesses hit by the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

The letter requests low-interest emergency loans of up to $2 million be made available due to recorded cases of economic damage in Alamosa, Baca, Denver, Eagle, El Paso, Gunnison, Jefferson, Larimer, La Plata, Las Animas, Lincoln, Logan, Pueblo, Rio Grande, Routt and San Miguel counties, along with the Southern Ute and Mountain Ute tribal nations.

Boulder and Weld counties were not listed on the letter despite both having declared public health emergencies and a combined novel coronavirus caseload of 10 confirmed cases and one fatality.

Jill McGranahan, a spokeswoman for the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade, told BizWest that all 64 counties would be eligible for the loans upon the SBA’s declaration. The 15 counties were listed because they had examples of immediate economic harm, a procedural requirement for a federal declaration.

The SBA emergency loans are designed to support small and medium-sized businesses during times of acute economic hardship, particularly if they do not have access to private-sector credit. President Donald Trump moved $50 billion to the SBA last week in an effort to keep small business with limited access to private sector credit afloat. 

Ten other states have already received disaster declarations from the SBA.


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