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On Thursday July 23, Axios Media Trends author Sara Fischer hosted the fourth of a six-event series on small business recovery across America, focusing on how small businesses in Colorado have pivoted during the coronavirus outbreak, featuring Colorado Governor Jared Polis and Ryan Cobbins, owner of Coffee at The Point.

Governor Jared Polis discussed his frustration with federal level response to the coronavirus and highlighted state-level funds in Colorado that have been established to support small businesses.

  • On the lack of coordination at the federal level: "We've had 50 different responses in each state. Each of the U.S. governors has really largely been on our own...But what we really need, because we do have freedom of movement between our borders, is a better coordinated national response."
  • What the state is doing to help small businesses: "Many Colorado small businesses were able to get two months of payroll from the federal government, but it's not enough. So we did two things here in Colorado. We created a $20 million fund...Then we established a larger $250 million climber fund, which is a loan facility for businesses that aren't quite able to be credit worthy to get loans they need directly from banks."

Ryan Cobbins discussed his experience as a small business owner and how Coffee at The Point has navigated safety measures and addressed the concerns of employees during this period.

  • On how the politicization of masks impacts his workers: "Some people have an extreme [reaction] around masks, to a point to where they get a little bit abrasive...So we make sure that our staff stays careful and we provide them with the language to speak to customers in an appropriate way so that things don't escalate."
  • On how his business is using this slow period: "We've taken the advantage of the time to review our process and procedures, get to know our staff on a deeper level, review our vendors and so forth...This period gives us the time to do so."

Axios co-founder and CEO Jim VandeHei hosted a View from the Top segment with Policy Programs Manager for Economic Impact at Facebook Diana Doukas, who discussed Facebook's recent research on the global economic impact of coronavirus and its particular impact on women-run businesses.

  • How the division of labor at home affects which businesses are closing: "Thirty-three percent of women business owners are finding that household responsibilities are falling to them. In a report that we've just released with the World Bank and the OECD, we're seeing a disparity between women-run and men-run businesses, where 12% more women-run businesses are closing."

Thank you Facebook for sponsoring this event.

Go deeper

Wells Fargo fires over 100 employees for fraudulently applying for COVID-19 relief funds

Photo: Robert Alexander/Getty Images

Wells Fargo has fired between 100 and 125 employees whom the company believes defrauded the Small Business Administration by applying for and receiving coronavirus relief funds for themselves, according to an internal memo obtained by Axios.

  • More terminations could be on the way, as a source familiar with the situation told Axios an investigation into the matter is ongoing.
Updated 35 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Ipsos poll: COVID trick-or-treat — Study: Trump campaign rallies likely led to over 700 COVID-related deaths.
  2. World: Boris Johnson announces month-long lockdown in England — Greece tightens coronavirus restrictions as Europe cases spike — Austria reimposes coronavirus lockdowns amid surge of infections.
  3. Technology: Fully at-home rapid COVID test to move forward.
  4. States: New York rolls out new testing requirements for visitors.

North Carolina police pepper-spray protesters marching to the polls

Officers in North Carolina used pepper spray on protesters and arrested eight people at a get-out-the-vote rally at Alamance County’s courthouse Saturday during the final day of early voting, the City of Graham Police Department confirmed.

Driving the news: The peaceful "I Am Change" march to the polls was organized by Rev. Greg Drumwright, from the Citadel Church in Greensboro, N.C., and included a minute's silence for George Floyd. Melanie Mitchell told the News & Observer her daughters, age 5 and 11, were among those pepper-sprayed by police soon after.