Small Business Emergency Relief Fund

As of January 26, 2021, the program is not accepting applications. Should this change, we will update this page accordingly.


The Small Business Emergency Relief Fund (SBERF) is providing an additional round of business stabilization grants geared to support many of Denver’s most vulnerable small businesses. This new round is possible by City's funds and Small Business Relief funds from the State of Colorado as authorized under SB20B-001.

Confirmation by the City and the State for these additional funds is expected in the coming weeks. However, in the interest of being ready to deploy support in a timely manner, should either or both funding sources be approved, Denver Economic Development & Opportunity is accepting applications now. 

We encourage business owners to submit their application as soon as possible and don’t delay.

Applications are accepted until Tuesday, January 26, 2021 at 5 p.m. Click on the other tabs for information on eligibility, priority, and how to apply.

Once all applications for this round are reviewed, we will contact you with a funding decision. We appreciate your patience as we process applications as quickly as possible.

Eligibility & Priorities


This program follows eligibility requirements established by Senate Bill 20B-001 Section 24-32-129(1)(f) governing the State emergency relief funds, as well as program guidelines provided by the Colorado Department of Local Affairs.

Disclaimer: content on this page is informational only. Business applicants should rely on the details outlined in the application.


  • Applicants that have previously applied for City's Small Business Emergency Relief Fund (SBERF) program, should note that program terms of eligibility and maximum award amounts have been modified.
  • Previous SBERF and Priority Neighborhoods Small Business Fund (PNSBF) award recipients can apply for this program

Businesses applying for the program must fulfill the following criteria:

  • Business is located in the City and County of Denver.
  • Business headquarters must be located in Colorado and business must be doing business in Colorado.
  • Business began operations on or before March 26, 2020.
  • If business began operating before January 1, 2020, had annual receipts of less than $2.5 million in annual revenue for calendar year 2019.
  • If business began operating on or after January 1, 2020, and on or before March 26, 2020, had annual receipts of less than $2.5million in annual revenue for calendar year 2020.
  • Business has at least one full time employee (unless sole proprietorship).
  • If business began operating prior to January 1, 2020, provide evidence of at least a 20% revenue loss since March 26, 2020, due to public health restrictions.
  • Be engaged in an “eligible industry category," as verified by its North American Industry Classification System (“NAICS”) code. See table below.
  • Be registered, current, and in good standing with the Colorado Secretary of State Office
  • Be current and in good standing with local, state, and applicable federal taxing and licensing authorities
  • Be engaged in activities that are legal under Colorado and federal law
  • Meet program technical requirements including ability to provide financial records.
  • Certify intent to remain in operation for at least six months
  • Business has not applied for nor received any other relief payments from the arts relief program enacted by SB20B-001. Applicant is eligible to apply if Applicant received relief funds under the 2020 CARES Act, subject to any restrictions imposed by such federal relief funds, or City relief funding.

Eligible Industries

Eligible Industries for State Funds

These industries are defined in Senate Bill 20B-001 Section 24-32-129(1)(f), and can be summarized as follows:

  • Bars
  • Breweries licensed pursuant to State requirements and that operate an attached sales room
  • Caterers
  • Distilleries licensed pursuant to State requirements and that operate an attached sales room
  • Fitness and recreational sports centers
  • Movie theaters
  • Restaurants
  • Wineries licensed pursuant to State requirements and that operate an attached sales room

Eligible Industries for City Funds

The city’s funds will prioritize  businesses operating in industries impacted by Public Health mandates. In addition to the state eligible industry categories this will include, but is not limited to:

  • Retail (storefront)
  • Hospitality
  • Personal care (barber shop, nail salon, etc.)
  • Health care & social assistance (childcare, home health care providers, etc.)
  • Logistics and transportation, and 
  • Others

See the businesses/industries impacted by health public mandates.


  • Priority industries, defined as industries most impacted by public health mandates
  • Severity of impact as expressed in the percentage revenue loss
  • Number of employees
  • Businesses with annual revenues of $1 million or less
  • Located in Denver’s NEST and other priority neighborhoods where businesses are displacement-vulnerable
  • Rent instability
  • Proposed use of financial assistance with emphasis on retaining and rehiring employees, adapting to COVID-19 conditions, requirements and consumer behavior changes, and on providing for employee job quality and safety


Be aware that completing and submitting an application does not guarantee an award, as the needs are great across the city, and additional eligibility and priority criteria apply. 

Next steps:

  • Head to the APPLICATION SITE and create an account. Please note that if you have previously applied, you cannot log in with your former login information. You must create a new account under the page’s “SIGNUP.”
  • Complete the application and upload the required documents
  • If you are selected to receive a grant, our program partner, Mile High United Way, will email you an invitation to upload documents related to the electronic funds transfer (EFT). Please be sure to check your Junk or Spam folders.