June 2, 2023
Marshall Fire Small Business Grants Awarded
Marshall Fire Small Business Grants Awarded
Additional Recovery Programs Continue
Boulder, Colo. - Boulder County and the State of Colorado recently partnered with Colorado Enterprise Fund to offer HUD grant funding for eligible for-profit small businesses impacted by the Marshall Fire and Straight-Line Wind event. This competitive one-time program helps eligible small businesses that have incurred economic loss or increased business expenses due to the disaster by providing support toward the retention and/or creation of low- and middle-income full-time jobs in the impacted area. Applications opened in April 2023 and, earlier this week, 20 local businesses were awarded grants of $20,000 each.
Additionally, as we approach the 18-month mark after the most destructive fire in Colorado history, many communities, businesses, and nonprofits continue to come together to help Marshall Fire survivors through the recovery process. Boulder County recognizes that recovery is a long process. Although the needs of residents far exceed the limits and resources of the county, the county continues to partner with community organizations on recovery efforts.
Recovery Navigation Services Recovery navigation services began July 25, 2022, as an initiative of Boulder County and the Boulder County Community Foundation. To date, $8,193,473 in rebuild grant funding has been approved and Recovery Navigators have conducted 959 appointments and made 1,127 calls to those impacted by the fire. Navigators help fire and straight-line wind survivors apply for funding, advocate with FEMA/SBA/Insurance, connection to additional resources including mental health resources, in addition to many other services customized to each individual household. Navigators shared just a few of their success stories out of the thousands of survivors they have helped:
- Funding was provided to purchase equipment that helped a mother get back to work in a home-based business. This support allowed her to return to a life-long passion and begin earning money for the family again.
- An elderly client was told by their insurance company that because they had not shown progress towards a rebuild, their Additional Living Expenses (ALE) rental coverage would be ending before the two years stated in the insurance contract. The Recovery Navigator spoke with the adjuster and explained the steps the client is taking towards a rebuild, resulting in ALE coverage being reinstated. The Recovery Navigator also assisted the client in securing a new rental closer to the property on which they are rebuilding.
- A client wanted assistance applying for Unmet Needs Funding for appliances as the family is due to move into their rebuilt home in early June. Funding was approved to purchase a refrigerator, washer, and dryer. The client was thrilled to have the financial support as they have a large rebuild gap and appreciated the assistance with the online application.
Use Tax Rebates Everyone who lost their home in the Marshall Fire and is rebuilding on their affected property qualifies for the county’s Use Tax Rebate. Use tax is charged for construction and tallied and paid when the building permit is issued. It is based on the projected valuation of the project as submitted by the builder. This program is designed to support victims of a total loss due to a federally declared disaster. The rebate is 100% of county use tax paid at the time the permit was issued with a maximum cap of $3,500 for permit’s issued in 2022 and a maximum cap of $4,200 for permit’s issued in 2023-24. To date, 319 applications have been received with funding already paid out to 161. To claim the rebate, property owners must file building permits by Dec. 31, 2024.
Debris Insurance Reconciliation There were 566 Boulder County property owners who participated in the Private Property Debris Removal Program (PPDR) after the fire. PPDR is a program in which FEMA reimburses Boulder County for eligible debris removal costs; FEMA requires the county to take reasonable steps to collect all applicable insurance proceeds for debris removal work to avoid any duplication of benefits. The county is working diligently with FEMA, the State of Colorado, and PPDR program participants through a debris insurance reconciliation process to determine what, if any, insurance coverage is available. In total, Boulder County spent close to $35M on the program and is in the process of seeking reimbursement through FEMA’s Public Assistance program. To date, 107 claim payments have been received from insurance carriers.
Rebuilding Better The county has worked with many energy partners to create resources for planning, designing, and constructing high-performance homes that are more resilient to future climate crises. Lists of contractors, rebates, incentives, materials, and equipment have all been complied and are updated as new information is provided. View this list of resources for building better performing homes.