Earlier in the week, Governor Polis announced the launch of a new state website,  covid19.colorado.gov , which will now serve as the state’s primary resource for all information and data related to COVID-19, including news releases and robust statewide data that will be updated around 4 p.m. daily. 
Employees must be paid at not less than two-thirds of their regular rate of pay for the number of hours the employee would normally be scheduled to work.
Employers are eligible for a tax credit equal to 100% of the qualified family leave wages paid, not to exceed $200 per day and $10,000 in aggregate. Those who are self-employed are also eligible for tax credits paid as the lesser of 67% of a person’s average daily self-employment income or $200 a day. 

Emergency Paid Sick Leave:
Employers are required to provide up to 80 hours of paid sick leave for employees unable to work or telework because of a federal, state or local quarantine or isolation order, the employee has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine, the employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and is seeking a medical diagnosis, the employee is caring for a son or daughter if the school or day care has been closed. Public health providers and emergency responders are exempted.
Full time employees are entitled to 80 hours of paid leave. Part time employees receive the number of hours they would work during an average two-week period. 
Employers are eligible for a tax credit equal to 100% of the qualified sick leave wages paid as a result of the order, not to exceed $511 a day in personal medical cases and not exceed $200 a day for those using leave to care for children. Those who are self-employed are also eligible for tax credits.

Tax relief for employers:
Any wages paid because of the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act will not be considered wages or compensation for IRS purposes and the taxes on those wages will be returned to employers through a tax credit. 

  • The federal government has suspended foreclosures for 60 days for those with mortgages insured by Federal Housing Administration. Colorado Gov. Jared Polis is encouraging private organizations to align with the federal policy.
  • Colorado leaders are making efforts to stop foreclosures, evictions and utility shut offs. An executive order will be released soon to address these actions.
  • Gov. Polis has requested that financial institutions offer a 90-day deferment of pay on commercial or personal loans, that property owners and landlord defer payments and waive late fees and has asked that no local law enforcement execute evictions. State law enforcement will not do so. Watch related press conference.
  • All borrowers with federally held student loans will automatically have their interest rates set to 0% for a period of at least 60 days. In addition, each of these borrowers will have the option to suspend their payments for at least two months to allow them greater flexibility during the national emergency. This will allow borrowers to temporarily stop their payments without worrying about accruing interest.

Colorado businesses eligible for low-interest SBA loans

The application process is now open to business owners in all of Colorado’s 64 counties.
Note: The website and application will experience unprecedented traffic. If the page will not load,
please check back at a later time.

Maximum loan: $2 million
Maximum term: 30 years
Maximum interest rate: 3.25%
NOTE: Businesses should always talk to local lenders about available programs before initiating
an SBA loan or any other disaster loan option. They may have alternative options or be able to
assist you in loan application preparation.

CDFA offers resources for small businesses as well as a weekly COVID-19 briefing This resource provides a collection of financing programs and resources to address disaster recovery
The Northwest Colorado Workforce Area is working to identify which organizations are still hiring, who has immediate needs for staff related to coronoavirus as well as what jobs are not impacted by the community response.

Please share any open positions in order to help facilitate connections between active job seekers, recently laid off, and those impacted by the current state of emergency.

Workforce center staff will distribute these opportunities to job seekers.
Employees who need immediate assistance can access these resources
One Fair Wage:  This organization typically advocates for the end of the sub-minimum wage for tipped workers, but right now it’s raising funds to give cash assistance to tipped workers and service workers affected by COVID-19. The goal is to give $213 (a play on the $2.13 federal minimum wage for tipped workers) to each worker who needs it. Go   here to donate or request help.
United States Bartenders Guild Bartender Emergency Assistance Program : The USBG is  taking donations to help bartenders experiencing financial difficulties due to the coronavirus outbreak. These grants are paid directly to recipients who have shown immediate need. (Note that you do not need to be a member of the USBG to apply for a grant.) Jameson Irish Whiskey pledged $500,000, and others are following suit. If you need help,  apply here .
Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation: In response to massive coronavirus-related closures and downturns in revenue, this restaurant-centric organization set up a COVID-19 Crisis Relief Fund to benefit both restaurant owners and workers.  Click here to donate to the fund, which provides zero-interest loans to businesses and funds for individual workers experiencing economic hardship.  For help, go here .

Also check with your local United Way to learn about other available programs.
Resources for remote work
Employers first option amid this crisis is to provide employees the option of working from home, which requires trust, creativity and good communication.

Businesses considering layoffs should encourage employees to contact the Division of Unemployment Insurance at 1-800-388-5515, in Espa ń ol 1-866-422-0402.

Because of the anticipated backlog, it could take up to six weeks for claims to get approved. Employers who are concerned about employee well-being might consider reducing hours immediately to let folks become eligible for UI while not losing all income entirely. 

Those who work fewer than 32 hours a week and earn less than the weekly amount of unemployment benefits (approximately 55% of the employees average wage) are eligible for unemployment benefits.
Reduced hours
Businesses whose employees can work reduced hours or remotely should investigate the state's Work-Share Program which may allow certain employees who have had reduced hours to claim partial unemployment benefits.
To qualify, employers must have reduced the normal weekly work hours by at least 10 percent, but by no more than 40 percent. The reduction must affect at least two out of all employees in the business, or a minimum of two employees in a certain unit.

Important: Unemployment system overwhelmed
The Unemployment System is currently fielding an unprecedented volume of calls. For the week of March 6, the office handled 400 claims. For the week of March 16, the office received more than 10,000 claims by noon on Tuesday. Every agent has been assigned to handle claims.

Advise employees to attempt filing at non-peak hours and to save often - the system does not automatically save. Online filing remains the best option.

Employers can do their part to expedite the claims process by registering to approve claims electronically (as opposed to by mail) through the State Information Data System (SIDES). Employers are urged to sign up for this service to support their employees.
Stuck at home? Fill out your 2020 census form
The 2020 Census is underway. Many have received an invitation in the mail, inviting you to respond online using a Census id code. Residents can respond online using their PHYSICAL ADDRESS even without a Census ID code.   
The Census is safe, easy, and important! 
Completing the online questionnaire takes about 10 minutes

Shining stars: Communities worth highlighting!
Rio Blanco County is offering temporary work for any employee laid off as a result of coronavirus. The county allocated funds to pay workers $12 an hour, paid through the employee's current employer.
Click on photo for details
The Vail Valley Partnership is working closely with Eagle County as well as other critical area partners and has created an information hub for Eagle County with open business listings, employer and employee resources, and more.
Click on photo for resources

Nurses in Garfield County are getting creative. Facing a shortage of masks, they decided to use other protective materials and set up a sew shop to make mask covers that extend the life of protective wear.
Click on photo for full story
If you have stories to share- please send them to us, we'd love to highlight local businesses and organizations going above and beyond!
Workforce centers closed,
 but still serving public
The Colorado Workforce Center locations in Edwards, Frisco, and Leadville serving Eagle Lake and Summit counties will be providing service to residents online and over the phone until further notice.

Job seekers and employers posting jobs can still log on to Connecting Colorado .

Eagle and Lake County

Summit County

Current community business hours and closures
Other Resources
Colorado Department
of Labor & Employment
Mark Hoblitzell,
Regional Business Services Coordinator
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