New Community Fund to Provide Grants to Larimer County Small Businesses Recovering From Flood Damage
Community Partnership Awarding Business-to-Business Financial Support
United Way of Larimer County announced today that it has created the Small Business Recovery Fund (SBRF), a collaborative community initiative that provides urgently needed financial aid to small companies in Larimer County that were affected by the devastating floods of September 2013 (and future disasters). The initiative is being undertaken in partnership with Blue Ocean Enterprises and the Richardson Foundation, with major support provided by Bohemian Foundation.
It’s estimated that at least 350 businesses in Larimer County are struggling in the aftermath of last year’s floods. Small businesses are at particular risk of failing, as they often lack the resources to withstand a catastrophic event like the recent flooding. If these small businesses are unable to recover, there are impacts and hardships throughout the community.
The SBRF focuses on helping threatened small business rebuild by distributing lump-sum recoverable grants of $5,000-$50,000 each to help qualifying businesses rebuild. The SBRF addresses the fundamental need to stabilize small businesses so that the communities of Larimer County can return to normal.
SBRF grants are recoverable, meaning that recipients are encouraged to repay their grants in-full or in-part within five years or when their businesses return to viability and have sufficient funds. Monies that are repaid to the SBRF are available to be redistributed to other eligible businesses impacted by the floods (or other future disasters).
The Richardson Foundation and Blue Ocean Enterprises created a dollar-for-dollar corporate fundraising challenge match of up to $500,000 to rally other Larimer County businesses to donate to the Fund. Bohemian Foundation initiated and seeded the Fund with $250,000. Their combined support, as well as contributions from OtterBox, First National Bank, and SupportEstesPark.com, positions the SBRF to assist small businesses that need immediate help.
“Small businesses are the engine of the Larimer County economy, and we as a community care about the long-term health and stability of the businesses affected by the 2013 floods,” said Kurt Hoeven, CEO of Blue Ocean Holdings LLC. “We’re committed to working side-by-side with United Way of Larimer County and the Richardson Foundation, along with other local partners, to throw these companies a lifeline in order to save jobs and help restore our communities.”
In order to apply for an SBRF grant, businesses must meet the following criteria:
- Headquartered and/or operating in Larimer County prior to September 12, 2013, excluding the area covered by the Loveland Chamber of Commerce Recovery Fund
- More than two and less than 100 employees
- Operating as a viable business for at least six months prior to September 12, 2013, as demonstrated by financial statements and references
- Current on state and federal taxes and in good standing in Colorado and the state of formation, if different
- Demonstrated impact by the floods and need in order for the business to return to viability
An independent volunteer panel of local business leaders reviews qualified applications and recommends funding amounts to a steering committee and/or the Board of Directors of United Way of Larimer County for determination of final grants. Grants must be used exclusively to pay for operating costs and other expenses associated with efforts to rebuild an eligible small business.
Businesses that meet the eligibility criteria for an SBRF grant are encouraged to download application materials at UnitedWayofLarimerCounty.org and apply by the close of business on January 24, 2014 to be considered for the first round of grants. Grants are subject to available funding and will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.
Questions about grant eligibility or the grant application process may be directed to the United Way of Larimer County SBRF Administrator at 970.407.7014 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For additional information, click here to visit the Small Business Recovery Fund page.
Media inquiries can be directed to:
|United Way of Larimer County
|Blue Ocean Enterprises
ABOUT BLUE OCEAN ENTERPRISES
Headquartered in Fort Collins, Colo., Blue Ocean Enterprises was founded in 2011 by OtterBox Founder and Chairman Curt Richardson and his wife, Nancy, to provide business mentoring, accounting, legal, information technology, real estate, and human relations services to its affiliated companies.
Its affiliate, Blue Ocean Holdings, LLC, is an investment management company that commits capital to promising businesses and strategically invests in commercial real estate. Blue Ocean Holdings currently invests in many Fort Collins-area businesses that employ more than 1,000 people and owns more than 400,000 square feet of commercial property. For more information, click here.
ABOUT THE RICHARDSON FOUNDATION
The Richardson Foundation was established in 2013 by Curt and Nancy Richardson to make a significant community impact, inspire change, and improve lives through outreach programs that support youth and education.
ABOUT UNITED WAY OF LARIMER COUNTY
United Way of Larimer County is advancing the common good by creating opportunities for a better life for all in Larimer County. Our focus is on education, income and health – the building blocks for a good quality of life. United Way recruits the people and organizations who bring the passion, expertise and resources to get things done. We invite you to join us. Click here for more information.Tags: Blue Ocean Enterprises, Larimer County Floods, Richardson Foundation, Small Business Recovery Fund
Categories: Special Update