State Unemployment Benefits

Colorado Unemployment Insurance. CARES Act increased the amount of benefits available to laid-off employees and expanded eligibility to independent contractors, self-employed and 1099 workers.

Step-by-Step Instructions for Filing State Unemployment Claim. Provides links to resources for employers, employees, self-employed, independent contractors and 1099 workers impacted by COVID-19 crisis.

 Unemployment Benefits Worksheet. Gives brief description of regular unemployment benefits (26 weeks) and CARES Act Extended Benefits (additional $600 up to 13 weeks after regular unemployment exhausted).

NOTE: On Sunday, 4/5/20, CDLE website states it cannot yet accept Extended Benefit claims (“Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Claim”) until it receives additional guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor. It can accept regular claims. Check this site often to see when Extended Benefit claims can be filed.

Federal Loan Program to Help with Longer-Term Economic Uncertainty

SBA: Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) CARES Act made revisions to this pre-existing SBA loan program which was designed to help small businesses recover from substantial economic injuries due to declared disasters. Loans are processed directly through SBA, although it may eventually extend authority to other lenders due to high demand. Maximum loan amount is $2 million with maximum term of 30 years and a lower fixed interest rate for nonprofits at 2.75%.

Federal Tax Credits Intended to Free Up Cash Now

U.S. TREASURY: Employee Retention Tax Credit. Provides refundable payroll tax credit to employers that are fully or partially shut down due to COVID-19 or whose gross receipts decline by 50% or more compared to same quarter last year. Tax credit is equal to 50% of qualifying wages paid to employees after March 13th with a maximum credit per employee of $5,000. An employer who qualifies because its gross receipts declined by 50% or more will not be eligible for the tax credit once its gross receipts reach 80% of what they were in same quarter in 2019. Eligible employers can take advantage of the credit immediately by reducing payroll tax payments by eligible credit amount. If the employer is eligible for a tax credit that is larger than its payroll tax liability, it receives a refund to the extent credit exceeds that amount.  (Tax credit is NOT available to organizations that receive PPP or other SBA loans. So, employers that intend to apply for PPP loan should not reduce or discontinue making payments for employee payroll taxes because credit is already incorporated into PPP loan.)

  • NOTE: On morning of Monday, April 6, an application process to obtain the Employee Retention Tax Credit is not yet available. Check here for updates.

U.S. TREASURY: Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) FAQ. Provides small and midsize employers with a refundable tax credit. Employers can use the tax credits, on a dollar for dollar basis, for their costs associated with providing COVID-19-related paid sick and family leave wages. These tax credit programs are known as the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA) and the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (Expanded FMLA). U.S. Department of Labor  also has details about these tax credits

Federal Loan & Grant Programs to Help Nonprofits with Short-Term Cash Flow Issues

  • SBA: Economic Injury Disaster Loan Emergency Advance. $10,000 emergency grant for nonprofits that are suffering temporary loss of revenue. Intended to provide immediate source of funding for nonprofits. Goal is to deposit funds into organization’s bank account within 3 days of application. 
    • NOTE: Online application for $10,000 grant is same application for the low-interest EIDL loan. You must check box for the “advance grant” of $10,000.
  • SBA: Paycheck Protection Program. Provides short-term (8 weeks) of funds to employers to help keep workers employed. Employers are a eligible for low-interest loan equal to 2.5 times organization’s 2019 average monthly payroll costs for an 8-week period. Loan funds can be used to pay for payroll costs, mortgage interest, rent and utilities. Portion used for payroll-related costs will be forgiven, making the loan a grant. For any portion of loan not forgiven, borrower has 6 months to begin payments. Loan is for 2 years at significantly reduced interest rate of 1%. Organizations that received EIDL grant may apply for PPP loan. The application for PPP loan is processed by banks, not SBA. Call or go to your bank’s web site to begin application process.

Federal & State Web Sites for COVID-19 Economic Relief Information

We’ve sifted through COVID-19 web resources to find sites with, what we believe, is the most reliable and timely information for keeping nonprofits informed about loan, grant, unemployment benefits, and other financial assistance for both employers and their workers. While not an exhaustive list, we think it’s a pretty good start in the right direction. We encourage you to check these sites regularly for updates.

  • SBA: FAQ for Religious Organizations (Released 4/3/20) – Guidance clarifies that religious organizations are treated the same as non-religious organizations for purposes of the PPP and EIDL programs.
  • SBA Press Releases & Media Advisories – @SBA_Colorado on Twitter is another good source for up-to-date information from the SBA, as long as you filter out politically inspired tweets.
  • U.S. TREASURY:  CARES Act – Main Treasury Department web page for information about federal economic relief programs under the CARES Act.

Help! How Do I Find Reliable Information

You can spend literally hours sifting through COVID-19 and coronavirus web pages. While many nonprofit-related associations do their best to keep their web sites up-to-date and accurate, it’s nearly impossible to do given the pace at which new information is being release by the various federal and state agencies. Plus, unless you’re relying upon official government guidance, you’re really just relying on the best interpretations individuals can give on the meaning of the various CARES Act financial assistance programs. Trust me, there are many reliable and expert interpretations available; it’s just hard figuring out which ones they are.

Here are a few tips for finding reliable and timely web-based resources:

  • Confirm date information was posted. Official fact sheets and guidance from federal and state government agencies are continuously being updated. Check the sites often. Do not rely on third-party summaries unless you know the date the information was posted.
  • Avoid comments on Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites. While comments from others may provide bits of accurate information periodically, you’ll spend more time trying to verify it than if you went straight to an official source.

SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program

On Friday, April 3, 2020, the Small Business Administration (SBA) rolled out the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) , a low-interest loan and loan forgiveness program for small businesses (fewer than 500 employees), including §501(c)(3) nonprofit and §501(c)(19) veteran organizations


SBA: Paycheck Protection Program

SBA: Borrower PPP Application

SBA: Lender PPP Form

SBA Interim Final Rule for Paycheck Protection Program

SBA Press Releases & Media Advisories