Silverthorne has $40K for businesses looking to take on new projects

The town of Silverthorne awarded The Argentos Empanadas & More a $3,500 a site-enhancement grant to build a sliding patio door at the new Argentinian food restaurant in Silverthorne.
Eli Pace /

Silverthorne has some money to spend for local businesses looking to improve their appearances or expand operations.

The town’s business improvement grants program comes on top of other incentives it offers to boost local businesses. Altogether the town can award up to $40,000 annually through its business grants at a maximum of $10,000 per business.

That means Silverthorne can award up to four businesses $10,000 each. In reality, most grants have been less than top-dollar in the past, and that’s allowed the town to dole out a higher number of them.

Town staff will start accepting applications on Jan. 2. with a Feb. 22 deadline to turn them in. Applications will go through the town’s Economic Development Advisory Committee, which in turn will make its funding recommendations to Silverthorne Town Council. Awards will be announced by April 1.

The town is most likely to support funding requests on one of two fronts, either site-enhancement projects or economic development, said Kim Jardim, a spokeswoman for the town.

Site-enhancement projects are rather straightforward and self-explanatory, she said. This could include everything to changes in a business’s façade, to new signage or even benches.

It could be for any project that will make a business — and thus the town — look better than it does today, Jardim explained, adding that business signs can be quite pricey these days.

Last year, a site-enhancement grant went to The Argentos Empanadas & More. The new Argentinian food restaurant got $3,500 in town funding for a sliding patio door, which the owner, Leo Tartufoli, described as an effort to create a more open, welcoming environment at the restaurant.

Silverthorne also uses the business grants program to encourage projects tied to economic development or any project at a local business that could bring new jobs to the economy.

One example of this kind of grant would be Blue River Vision, a new eye care facility in downtown Silverthorne that the town helped open by donating $10,000.

Another local company, Peak to Peak Movers, also got the full $10,000 last year to help it buy a new truck and hire four more full-time employees at wages of $18-$25 an hour.

While the town considers all applications, Jardim said there’s been a precedent where businesses willing to put their own money into a project have been more likely to receive funding. The grants really aren’t designed to pay for everything, as much as they are to help make it happen.

“We’re always super excited when someone comes to us with a proposal, and we have given preference to those applications where businesses are willing to put a little skin in the game,” Jardim said.

She added that the best applications provide detailed information about a project, including exactly what the business hopes to do and material on things like construction bids and desired vendors.

“They really do need to give us the complete story before we can take a look and decide whether we’re able to assist them with a grant,” she said. Business owners can find complete program details on the town’s website.

To find them, go to, mouse over to the “Business” tab at the top of the page and click on “Business Improvement Grant Program.” For more information, call the town manager’s office at 970-262-7305.

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