2020 Coronavirus Relief Fund Supports Boulder County Pandemic Response and Recovery

CARES ACT Distribution in 2020

In alignment with the county's strategic priority of Organizational and Financial Stewardship, CARES Act financial data is being publicly shared for all to review. Thanks to Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding, Boulder County was able to help mitigate impacts of the COVID-19 crisis for both the public and our staff, including providing testing and support, a public health call-center, and personal protective equipment (PPE) for health care providers and others. In total, $27,983,411 was provided to Boulder County by the Department of Local Affairs (DOLA). Of the money received, $16,135,618 was used by Boulder County directly, while the remaining $11,847,793 was distributed by the county to towns and cities.

Learn more about about the CARES Act .

Some of the larger programs CARES Act funds helped support included:

  • Grants for childcare that allowed child care programs to operate and provided essential workers with young children the ability to remain in their roles.
  • Human services initiatives helping people who struggled with lapses in work or loss of work through utility and housing assistance.
  • Local non-profit support, and additional opportunities to reach out for help.
  • Telework resources for county staff, which increased accessibility for community members to access help during a time when many on-site services were either appointment-only or remote.
  • Public health support that includes COVID-19 testing, a public health call-center, and purchasing personal protective equipment for health care providers, shelter workers, and other individuals working closely with the public.
  • Economic assistance to local businesses through multiple rounds of grant funding.

Information on how a few community organizations used the funding they received is available at the bottom of the page.

Limitations of this data include:

  • The financial data on this page only demonstrates the use of Coronavirus Relief Fund spending, as distributed by DOLA
  • The county and Boulder County Public Health also utilized county funds and an additional $2.8 million in additional federal and state relief funds to respond to the pandemic. This data is not included here.
  • The data shown is current as of March 2021.
  • The data shown for public health represents payments that were made to from Boulder County to Boulder County Public Health as they are a separate legal entity that manages their own transactions.

NOTE - Scrolling over the charts depicted below will reveal additional information on the breakdown of each segment. Clicking on the chart will reveal detailed information about all data included in the chart.

NOTE - The "Other" category consists of a grouping smaller expenditures.

How CARES Act Funding Was Determined

Each category in the above chart addressed an unmet need in our community or internal organization identified through a rigorous review process managed by Boulder County. The Unmet Needs Assessment was initially created and distributed on Aug. 14, 2020. County leadership was asked to outline needs they had related to continuing operations and meeting the needs of their clients and the community. It was also noted during the pandemic that the Latinx/Hispanic community has been disparately impacted by COVID-19. To address this issue, employees were asked to consider how to remedy these disparities when filling out the Unmet Needs Assessment.

After the assessment, identified needs were evaluated by a review committee of county staff to determine CARES Act funding eligibility and recommendations were made to the Board of County Commissioners for final allocation decisions.

CARES Funds Helped Countywide

Boulder County's Distribution of Funds to Towns and Cities

Boulder County 16,135,618 57.66%

Boulder 3,747,243 13.39%

Erie 477,448 1.71%

Lafayette 1,292,851 4.62%

Longmont 4,286,862 15.32%

Louisville 945,947 3.38%

Lyons 292,264 1.04%

Nederland 219,309 0.78%

Superior 585,869 2.09%

CARES Funds Helped People

Funds provided by the county to numerous organizations helped them and the people they serve in many ways, including assisting with utility bills, ensuring childcare was available, and by getting food and medicines to those who couldn't pick it up themselves. Without this funding, many of the community organizations that provide invaluable assistance to Boulder County residents may not have survived the COVID-19 pandemic. The stories below provide a few examples on just how important this funding was to so many.

Via Mobility Services

Via staff loading up boxes of food and supplies into a shuttle to be delivered to county residents.

Via, a mobility assistance organization, saw their ridership decrease almost 80% at the beginning of the pandemic. To help bring back riders, Via started operating a fare-free service and plans to continue that model until at least June 2021. Without people to transport, Via shifted gears and started offering free pick-up and delivery of prepaid groceries and prescriptions to numerous county residents experiencing COVID-19-related hardships. Their work on food delivery led to a Colorado Association of Transit Agencies (CASTA) Innovation of the Year Award! Nice work! Thank you for all of your help getting people and their much needed food and medicines to where they needed to go.

Sister Carmen

Sister Carmen food bank volunteers

The funds Sister Carmen Community Center received were used to provide an additional 18 households with financial assistance for their electricity/gas bill. They also used CARES money to support their digital literacy classes through the Bridging the Digital Divide (BDD) Program that connects underserved families and individuals with affordable technology and teaches basic computer skills to individuals in need. A majority of the BDD program participants are Spanish-speaking Latinos and low-income, English-speaking seniors. Because of public health orders, normal in-person classes had to be shifted to remote learning. To bring digital literacy remote learning into many homes, Sister Carmen had to ensure participants had computers and internet in their houses. In addition to participants, Sister Carmen also provided new equipment to their instructors. Amazing work by an outstanding community organization. Thank you for helping!

Boulder Day Nursery

Children having fun outside while attending Boulder Day Nursery

Boulder Day Nursery (BDN) saw "an extraordinary loss of revenue in 2020." Thanks to CARES funding, that loss was offset and they were able to keep tuition and fees the same, maintain normal student-to-teacher ratios, and increase health and safety practices that allowed them stay open throughout 2020. By staying open and maintaining tuition rates, they were able to help students and their parents by providing the highest quality care to those families who need it the most every day and offering exceptional learning experiences.

Small Business Emergency Relief Grants

The purpose of this program was to provide support for small businesses that continued to experience financial hardship directly related to the COVID-19 public health emergency. The County Commissioners recognized the critical role played and sizeable contributions made by small businesses throughout Boulder County in the community's overall economic health and well being.

Two rounds of the grants were offered and awarded in 2020. In May, the Board of County Commissioners awarded 34 grants to local businesses, and in November, the Board of County Commissioners awarded another 23 grants as part of the emergency relief funding program. A total of $338,286 was awared to small business throughout Boulder County.

To be eligible for award consideration, businesses had to meet state-established eligibility criteria, which included (but were not limited to):

  • Located within unincorporated Boulder County, including Jamestown and Niwot.
  • Employ 50 people or less
  • Be in good standing with the state and the county
  • Demonstrate revenue losses during designated timeframes
  • Prove compliance with public health orders

Open For Business sign in a shop window

CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund (CVRF)

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was written to address COVID-19 impacts on four different groups in our communities: families, small businesses, industries, and state/local governments.

On May 18, 2020, Governor Polis signed Executive Order D2020 070 to establish the Coronavirus Relief fund using money provided by the Federal government which will reimburse costs to Counties, Municipalities and Special Districts for:

  1. Necessary expenditures incurred due to the COVID-19 public health emergency(COVID-19 emergency);
  2. Were not accounted for in the budget most recently approved as of March 27, 2020 (the date of enactment of the CARES Act) for the State; and
  3. Were incurred during the “covered” period that begins on March 1, 2020, and ends on December 30, 2020.