DENVER (KDVR) -- Denver Mayor Michael Hancock announced the creation of a $4 million relief fund for businesses impacted by the coronavirus outbreak. In a press conference Thursday, he said the priority of the fund is to support local small businesses and others involved in the food industry.
"We're gonna get through to the other side of this," Hancock said. "The city is committing to identifying, developing and implementing local resources whether financial or wrap-around services to support Denver business owners and their employees who have been affected."
In addition to the relief fund, Hancock announced Denver Economic Development and Opportunity (DEDO) is setting up an emergency relief program to provide cash grants of up to $7,500 to qualifying small businesses. The highest priorities are those most affected by the coronavirus such as the food industry.
"The city and Downtown Denver Partnership (DDP) will also work together on expanding the funding for small business relief and will be reaching out to the business community to amplify the impact of the small business support through donations," Hancock said.
DEDO is working with the state and federal government to allow local businesses the ability to apply for a Small Business Association Economic Injury Disaster Loan which may provide up to $2 million.
Through the Imagine 2020 Artist Assistance Fund, Denver Arts and Venues will award grants of up to $1,000 to individual local artists whose income has been adversely affected by the pandemic.
The Department of Finance will waive the 15% penalty for late payments of February and March sales use and occupational privilege taxes due March 20 and April 20.
All paid parking meters are now free with no time limit for parking in Denver. The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure has also suspended the enforcement of time-limited, non-metered parking as well as bus loading zones, residential parking permit areas, 72-hour limit parking areas and booting around Denver.