Beyond My Bubble

As the Fort Collins Area Chamber Executive Vice President, and now as it’s CEO, I’ve had the amazing opportunity to sit in on very interesting conversations.  I’m a person that is incredibly curious, so miscellaneous data is always welcome to come my way.  Today I thought I would share some of the data points that have come across my desk this week that might be beyond your typical bubble of information….

  • The SBA opened up another round of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funding.  The SBA has already reported that nearly 15,500 loans totaling more than $1.4 Billion have been approved for Colorado businesses as of January 31.  Loans to Colorado businesses represents 1.9% of the total loans given in this round.  In comparison, Colorado has 1.7% of the US population and 2% of the US small business payrolls.  Lenders are still taking PPP Loan applications with the deadline of March 31.  Additional information about this round of PPP can be found at:
  • Economic Developers and Business Support Organizations have been working tirelessly the last 10 months helping business to respond, reopen and recover from the economic downturn caused by the pandemic.  To drive our work to “reignite” the economy, we set out to create a tool to track the economic recovery in Northern Colorado.  We selected indicators that represent critical aspects of the Larimer and Weld County economies, are based on data that is accessible in a useable format and updated frequently with little lag time.  We launched the tracker last week.  You can check it out here:
  • Did you know that during COVID, 43% of Larimer county families reduced their work due to lack of childcare?  Childcare and Early Education are vital for our children.  Kids are the next generation of community members, workers and leaders.  A thriving Larimer County depends on investment in children and their families.  You can learn more about Healthy Kids, Healthy Economy and Healthy Community at Larimer Thrive by Five:
  • The Common Sense Institute announced today that they have created a fellowship dedicated to examining a critical issue confronting Colorado and presenting achievable solutions.  The focus of the 2021 fellowship will be housing affordability.  We’ll be tracking the work of Evelyn Lim and Peter LiFari as part of our annual investment in CSI.  Learn more here:
  • Changes to the COVID Dial by the state has allowed all of our businesses to open more widely.  You can learn about the dial updates here:  And we want to  encourage you to continue to support our Level Up businesses.  These 340 businesses are going above and beyond to make sure they are providing a safe place for you to be.   Check out the list of Level Up business here:   You can definitely find a treat for you valentine at one of these businesses!


Written by Ann Hutchison, President & CEO

February 9, 2021
For comments and questions about this blog, please email Ann at [email protected].