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Good Times, 2095 S. Broadway in Denver, is experimenting with an artificial intelligence-powered drive-thru cashier. (Eric Lubbers, The Colorado Sun)

Colorado small businesses found some financial relief during the coronavirus pandemic thanks to the $600 billion in federal stimulus loans known as the Paycheck Protection Program. Approximately 104,402 of them were approved for a total of $10.4 billion.


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And now we know who and how much. 

In Colorado, the loans helped keep about 900,000 people on the job for a minimum of eight weeks, the main criteria businesses had to meet for the loans to be 100% forgivable, the U.S. Small Business Administration reported when it released data on Monday. The chaotic program had its issues, some of which The Colorado Sun reported on, and the official recipient data indicates only that the loan was approved — not whether it was accepted or used.

The Colorado Sun put all the data available for companies that received loans of $150,000 or more into a searchable database. The data includes the business name, location, type of business, loan size, the number of jobs retained and other demographic information. Not all companies shared all information. 

More: $1 loans? $10 million for a nail salon? Colorado’s federal coronavirus loan data has some eye-popping errors

Search the database below to see which companies received loans valued at $150,000 or more (a separate chart for loans below $150,000 is at the end the story):  

The maximum loan was $10 million, but the SBA provided only a range. In Colorado, 95 companies received $5 million to $10 million. There are several familiar brands on the list, including Good Times, the Lakewood-based fast food burger joint, and its sit-down restaurant chain Bad Daddy’s which received three loans for a total of $11.6 million to retain 1,398 employees. 

The Denver Museum of Nature and Science, which closed its doors for two months, received $5 million to $10 million for its 494 employees. And Peak 8 Properties, which operates resorts in Breckenridge, borrowed $5 million to $10 million for 500 workers. 

The loans were offered to small businesses with 500 or fewer employees.  The Colorado Sun received a $212,000 PPP loan for 13 employees.

A few other notable data points:

  • 95 businesses received between $5 million and $10 million
  • 989 businesses received $1 million to $2 million
  • 483 businesses received $2 million to $5 million
  • 3,970 businesses received $350,000 to $1 million
  • 7,893 businesses received $150,000 to $350,000
  • 87% of Colorado businesses that got money from the program, or about 91,000, received loans of less than $150,000
  • Loans on the list included dollar amounts as low as $1

The data appears to have some inaccuracies. Some companies said they did not receive a loan, including scooter company Bird and venture capital firm Index Ventures, which both said they did not apply or receive a PPP loan, according to TechCrunch.

While companies were asked how many employees the loan would help, approximately 1,377 Colorado companies did not list an employee number — and that includes seven companies that took loans between $5 million to $10 million, including Mortgage Solutions of Colorado in Colorado Springs and civil contractors Fiore & Sons in Denver.

Loan applications also asked for demographic information, such as race and ethnicity and gender. But most applicants did not share those details, according to the SBA. Among the 13,000 Colorado businesses borrowing more than $150,000, fewer than 1% listed their race/ethnicity as Asian, Black or American Indian. Approximately 0.88% said the business owner was Hispanic while 12.4% said white. About 86% did not answer.

Among Colorado applicants for loans under $150,000, the percentages were 1.1% Hispanic, 0.12% Black, 0.67% Asian, 5.51% white. About 93% did not answer.

As for the region, the SBA broke down the numbers by city and ZIP code, and also by congressional district. 

In the 1st Congressional District, which includes Denver and a few suburban communities, saw the largest number of recipients at 4,807 businesses and 212,076 retained employees. Denver also had 50 loans between $5 million to $10 million, the largest of any district. 

See the chart for data by congressional district:

Most Colorado small businesses that applied for a loan were successful, with the SBA sharing that 83% were approved. Some companies canceled their loans because they feared that they would not be forgiven. 

The Treasury Department announced midway through the program that it would audit all loans above $2 million. At least two publicly traded companies, DMC Global in Broomfield and Red Lion Hotels in Denver, returned their loans of $6.7 million and $4.2 million, respectively.

Nationwide, $521.1 billion was loaned through 4.9 million PPP loans. While the program was expected to close at the end of June, Congress extended the loan application deadline to Aug. 8. More than $100 billion is still available.

The SBA also shared the list of about 91,000 Colorado businesses approved for loans of $150,000 or less. While data includes location, loan amount and jobs retained, the SBA did not reveal the names of the businesses.

Tamara writes about businesses, technology and the local economy for The Colorado Sun. She also writes the "What's Working" column, available as a free newsletter at Contact her at, or or on LinkedIn at in/gadgetress/