Denver releases $7.1 million for businesses, nonprofits and out-of-work locals hurt by the coronavirus

The money aims to dampen the economic effects of COVID-19.

Pete's Kitchen on East Colfax, March 17, 2020. (Emily Owens)

Pete's Kitchen on East Colfax, March 17, 2020. (Emily Owens)

staff photos

The Denver City Council on Monday OK’d $7.1 million for local businesses, nonprofits and out-of-work residents who have been hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic but fallen through the cracks of state and federal unemployment programs.

Local business owners will receive $4.4 million more in grants. The money, which comes from the federal government and will be dispersed through the Mile High United Way, represent the city’s second round of relief money for small businesses that prop up the local economy.

The council also approved $2 million in aid for Denver nonprofit organizations. The one-time grants are capped at $15,000 and will help an estimated 125 groups, according to city documents.

Unemployed workers who cannot take advantage of unemployment benefits because of their immigration or worker status can apply for relief funds as well. Council members OK’d $750,000 for a “Left Behind Workers Fund” to help

“As our nation is appropriately focused on the history of racism and its impacts on black lives, this investment will help Denver mitigate the harm experienced by another community that has faced bias and exclusion,” Councilwoman Robin Kniech said in a statement.

The money released Monday is part of a slew of city programs from micro-loans to tax relief meant to quell the tide of economic hardship caused by closed businesses and physical distancing after COVID-19 spread through the city.

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