NewsCovering Colorado


State grant funding helps 12 Colorado Springs small businesses facing challenges

Posted at 9:50 PM, Mar 25, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-26 00:15:49-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — Financial help is on the way for 12 Colorado Springs small businesses thanks to nearly $400,000 in state grants announced Monday afternoon.

The grants are part of the Community Business Preservation Program and are awarded to businesses that hold cultural significance in communities facing economic hardships.

Colorado Springs Mayor Yemi Mobolade announced the funding during a press conference on Monday. Two nonprofits, The Thrive Networks and Downtown Ventures, received a total of $372,000 which was then given to 12 different small businesses to help bolster their business operations.

The Thrive Networks awared $190,000 to the following businesses:

  • A Fresh Move Grocery Store
  • Felipe's 109
  • Leave it At Your Door
  • Luxe Daiquiri Lounge
  • The Lighthouse Early Care and Education
  • Viva Marketing and Consulting

Downtown Ventures received $182,000 to support the following businesses:

  • Auric Art Gallery
  • Bosky Studio
  • Ladyfingers Letterpress
  • Shuga's
  • Yobel

Jackie Lujan, the owner of The Lighthouse childcare center on the southeast side of the city, said she received $30,000 in grant funding. She said she hopes to use the money to buy two minivans to transport kids to and from their programs and purchase a whole year of curriculum. She said transportation is a barrier that is preventing them from starting their after-school program.
"It's not active because we don't have the transportation, how are parents going to be able to sign up for something if they need the transportation, and we don't have that?" she said.

Lujan is also planning to open a second childcare center inside the Pikes Peak United Way Family Success Center off of Verde Drive on the southeast side. She said the new location will open 74 spots for children ages two to 12 years old. Lujan said she hopes this can alleviate the shortage of childcare services on the southeast side.

"That was one of the main reasons why I knew that I wanted to step up and be able to get in this industry because I knew that it was going to be solving an issue for our community," she said.

ICONS, an LGBTQ nightclub downtown, and Yobel, a clothing store next door, both shutdown after a fire late last year. The two businesses will each receive $30,000 to help them get back on their feet.

“It means a lot to us, but even more so I think it means a lot to the community. We were the one queer space left in Colorado Springs," said ICONS co-owner Joshua Franklin.

The Community Business Preservation Program is ran by the state's Office of Economic Development and International Trade, which offers other programs and funding opportunities to businesses.

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