While millions of Americans are awaiting promised stimulus checks from the federal government, don't be expecting one from the state of Colorado.

When Colorado Governor Jared Polis announced the Colorado recovery plan this week, we heard the word "stimulus" and immediately we might have thought the state was giving residents free money. That is not at all what the Colorado stimulus plan is about. The state says its goal is to "help Colorado recover faster and build back stronger."

Where Did Colorado Get Money to Spend on Recovery?

Colorado is getting $6 billion from the federal government to aid in its efforts to recover from the coronavirus pandemic. The money comes as a result of the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill passed by Congress.

What Is Colorado Doing with the Money?

The state has outlined five areas where it plans to use the stimulus money. While Coloradans won't see money deposited in their bank account, the impact will be widespread through various initiatives involving everything from infrastructure, employment, education, and agriculture. More specifically, here is a look at some areas that will be impacted by this plan.

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Strengthening Small Business

  •  One-time grants for small businesses
  • Support for Arts/Culture organizations
  • Restaurant sales tax relief
  • Incentivize events and conferences
  • New business start-up loans
  • Help for developing businesses

Revitalizing Infrastructure

  • Improvements to the Eisenhower-Johnson Memorial Tunnels, tourism corridors, and scenic byways
  • Help for Main Streets with community activities and economic development
  • Create affordable housing in urban areas
  • Improve infrastructure at state parks
  • Broadband investments
  • State water projects
  • Weatherization assistance for low-income residents

Supporting Families

  • Funding for school tutoring and summer school
  • Mental health screenings in schools
  • Mental health hotline for unemployed individuals
  • New child care facility space
  • Purchase hotels and rent rooms for the homeless
  • Grand for school construction

Investing in Rural Colorado

  • Wildfire recovery grants
  • Watershed restoration grants to help defend against wildfire
  • Create new job opportunities and assist in the transition away from coal
  • Support of Stock Show, State Fair, and other events
  • REDI Grants
  • Investments in Ag supply chains
  • Drought response
  • Funding for Colorado Proud

Developing Our Workforce

  • Extend renewal period for teacher licensure from 5 to 7 years
  • Workforce Centers and training awards
  • Funding for the Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative
  • Funding energy career pathways
  • SNAP Employment and training
  • Professional training and small business lending and support for formerly incarcerated individuals

You may not fully understand exactly how Colorado's stimulus funds will be spent, but this gives you an idea of what the state is doing to speed up the road to recovery. You're not getting a check from the state, but, at least in some measure, many Coloradans will benefit from this stimulus plan. Hopefully, it truly will lead to a full recovery.

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