Key Takeaways from Downtown Denver Partnership’s 5th COVID-19 Member Briefing Webinar

April 21, 2020

On April 21, the Downtown Denver Partnership gathered our members, community leaders, and business owners in the fifth weekly COVID-19 Membership Briefing webinar. Key takeaways include:

Matt Wasserman, owner of Make Philanthropy Work (MPW) Strategies, shared free resources MPW is offering nonprofits to help with fundraising and strategy.

  • MPW is hosting weekly webinar sessions on nonprofit fundraising through COVID-19. Click here to learn more about future sessions and access recordings of past sessions.
  • Through May, MPW is offering free, 1-hour strategy sessions to help nonprofits develop tactical fundraising processes. Click here to inquire about a session.
  • Additionally, the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Colorado is offering free webinars and other support here. 
  • Resources to aid nonprofits from the Colorado Nonprofit Association can be found here

Megan Sullivan-Jenks, Senior Director of Marketing and Communications at Choozle, shared about how the ways consumers are buying has shifted, and highlighted different ways businesses can adjust strategies to optimize marketing efforts. Click here to see her presentation.

  • There have been drastic changes to how we are all interacting with media from home, including an increase in online shopping and gaming, as well as a radical increase in streaming services. This has resulted ina 30% increase in bidding opportunities.
  • Click here to access the Choozle Blog for information about the way buying patterns are shifting. Here is an article on advertising during a crisis.
  • Email to get advice on optimizing your business’s digital presence through these unprecedented times.
  • Choozle is offering a free month subscription for all Downtown Denver Partnership Members. This includes implementation and strategy sessions for your marketing teams. Reach out to for more information.

Rich Harris, President of Harris Law Firm, provided an update on increased cases of domestic violence and child abuse since the nascent of the Stay at Home Order, and provided resources to help communities support one another through challenging times.

  • Harris addressed that there are multiple factors playing into the increase, including a fear of unemployment and families being quarantined for an extended time together.
  • He also encouraged individuals in dangerous situations to reach out for help by utilizing  online resources.
  • Harris Law Firm is making lawyers available by phone everyday from 8 AM until 10 PM to help individuals with legal issues and to connect people to resources for free. Call this number for help (303)622-5502, or click here to access Harris Law Firm’s Resource Center.

Ryan Beiser, Regional President and Head of Corporate Banking at PNC Financial Services discussed updates on the CARES Act and Paycheck Protection Program loans. 

  • Currently, the program is working to create additional funds. $348B in funding was applied for in the first phase. 
  • Banks have been experiencing a quick turnaround time for the application process.
  • The Senate just approved $480B. Proposed additional funds will go to community banks in the amount of $60B, as well as $60B for the Emergency Assistance Program, and $75B for hospitals and testing.
  • With the speed of these funding processes, it is critical for business owners to have their complete and organized applications to reduce the time and effort for those reviewing applications.
  • While Beise recommended businesses work with existing banking partners, he encouraged business owners to think broadly about solutions and keep an open dialogue.

Lew Visscher, Founder and President at Lew’s List shared about all the different assistance opportunities available to small businesses and nonprofits working through the CARES Act. Click here to see his presentation.

  • There are lots of organizations willing to offer pro bono assistance to businesses and nonprofits working their way through PPP loan requests, and helping to ensure they are forgiven when the time comes.
  • Lew emphasized the importance of helping small businesses extend their financial runway through PPP loans and other creative ideas.
  • Lew’s network has deployed 40 of 65 volunteers for these efforts, and expert advisors from partners such as  PNC are standing by for assistance. 
  • After analyzing the needs of the business seeking advice, the appropriate HR advisors, coaches, or consultants can help share resources based on the business’s needs. This and range from helping with testing financial scenarios, to tax strategies, and CARES Act assistance.
  • When the next application period for PPP funding begins, Lew advises business owners to apply quickly.
  • Some creative solutions that business owners can consider include negotiating with vendors and landlords, and reviewing gross burn rates and net burn rates to run scenarios that will help develop a plan for extending your business finances by six months.
  • To volunteer or get help, click here.

For access to the Partnership’s most up-to-date COVID-19 resources please click here to see our updated page. 

The Partnership will continue to host weekly COVID-19 Membership briefings. Click here to join us for next week’s webinar on April 21st at 3:00 PM.