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Salt Lake Center of Opportunity Partnership (CO-OP)

Salt Lake Co-Op Logo with Tagline.jpg

The Salt Lake Center of Opportunity Partnership (CO-OP) seeks to connect small businesses in Opportunity Communities with the resources they need to grow and thrive. It launched in 2022.

For Small Businesses

If you own or are part of a small business that would like help find services, please contact one of our Business Outreach Partners. A navigator from one of these partner organizations will work with you to identify the best resources and connect you directly with what your business needs.

Services available completely free, include:

  • General advising to support with business plans, market research, certifications and licensing 
  • Short-term assistance organizing business accounts, generating financial statements, Quickbooks setup, tax documentation, etc.
  • Loans up to $50,000 for startups and existing businesses that do not qualify for traditional funding sources
  • Website development and social media strategy
  • Business growth courses and programming
  • More!
Organization Contact Name Email Phone
GK Folks Foundation Jude Idoko 240-330-5544
LGBTQ+ Chamber Nick Arteaga 385-743-9211
Native American Chamber Chelsey Nez 720-662-5994
PIK2AR Daniel Tuutau or John Tuutau



Salt Lake American Refugee Services Ghulam Hasnain 801-671-6709
Suazo Business Center Andrea Shockley 801-521-1709
Black Success Center Daisy Hall 801-695-6848
Utah Hispanic Chamber Juan Pascua 801-532-3308
Utah Muslim Civic League Ali Hamza  
Women Business Center Connie Yengich 801-793-9393

For Partner Organizations

The Salt Lake Center of Opportunity Partnership (CO-OP) is an extension and expansion of the highly successful Economic Inclusion Community Assistance (EICAP) pilot program started in 2021.

EICAP assisted 800 businesses with over 2,500 employees applying for community resources such as the Paycheck Protection Program to support their businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

CO-OP builds upon this success with one-time American Rescue Plan funding approved in 2022 to launch a long-term initiative to connect lower-income businesses and community resources.

By supporting these small businesses, we can increase economic opportunity while making our economy more prosperous and resilient.

CO-OP Grant

Background & Grant Overview

Salt Lake County Economic Development sees an opportunity to grow our economy by making sure that all entrepreneurs and small businesses achieve their potential. This is especially true for businesses from communities experiencing economic opportunity gaps, or what we call “Opportunity Businesses”.

These communities include, but are not limited to:

  • Black,
  • Latinx,
  • Native American,
  • Asian-Pacific,
  • Subcontinent Asian American,
  • women,
  • LGBTQ+,
  • persons with disabilities, and
  • socially and/or economically disadvantaged communities, including those located in geographies with lower economic opportunity.

If we can help Opportunity Businesses access all the resources available in Salt Lake County and identify gaps, our entire County will benefit. To address this need, we seek partners to provide business outreach and business services to Opportunity Businesses.

The County will contract with two types of partners:

  1. Business Outreach Partners

    Business Outreach Partners will engage Opportunity Businesses through individuals called “Navigators”, and connect businesses with resources, many of which will be provided by CO-OP Business Services Partners.

    Navigators will actively conduct outreach, create new relationships with businesses, understand their problems, and help solve those problems.

  2. Business Services Partners

Business Services Partners will work with Navigators to understand business needs and provide relevant technical assistance. We want to increase capacity for valuable, existing services or add new services not currently available.

Business Services Partners will leverage their deep expertise in specific types of assistance for businesses. This connects the most businesses possible with the most resources possible.

Our goal is to create an ecosystem of businesses, community-based organizations and business services organizations. We leverage each other's strengths to ensure Opportunity Businesses can thrive.

Find more information, including minimum qualifications, requirements, costs, and fees in the RFAs.

How to Apply

To apply, please follow these steps:

  1. Review the RFA for the type of partner your organization is interested in applying for: Business Outreach Partner or Business Services Partner.
  2. Download and complete either the Business Outreach Partner or Business Services Partner application. If applying to be both a Business Outreach Partner and a Business Services Partner, please complete both applications. Identical questions that repeat in both applications can take duplicate responses.
  3. Click the “Submit” button on this page.
  4. Complete the submission form and upload your application(s) and other requested documents.
  5. Submit the form.
Additional Resources

Please download and review the following documents. You will be asked to certify your compliance with these requirements in your application.


Brooke Shankland, Economic Development Manager

Phone: 385-468-4868



How much funding is available?

Total 2022 funding for CO-OP Business Outreach and Business Services is expected to be about $500,000. 

The County anticipates making 10-20 contracts as part of CO-OP. Initial grant amounts will be determined based on applicants' submitted budgets, community need, and overall available grant program budget. Our goal is to maximize impact and inclusion based on the input from all applicants.

CO-OP has approved total funding of $4 million through 2026.

How will Business Outreach Partners be compensated?

Business Outreach Partners will be reimbursed for the work of their Navigators. Beyond a base rate of $15 per hour, Business Outreach Partners will also receive "bonus payment" as their Navigators help businesses successfully connect with and complete resource referrals. Bonus payment of up to $375 per business is possible. 

See Section II ("Reimbursement") of the Business Outreach RFA for more information.

How will Business Services Partners be compensated?

Business Services Partners will be reimbursed for their staff's work and other costs for delivering services to businesses brought to them through CO-OP, as agreed on by the Partner and County.

Beyond this base rate, Business Services Partners will also receive "bonus payment" when staff help businesses successfully complete relevant meetings and programming. Bonus payment of up to $225 per business is possible.

See Section II ("Reimbursement") of the Business Services RFA for more information.

Can I apply to be both a Business Outreach Partner and a Business Services Partner?

Applicants may perform both outreach and services, with some limitations. The County will not compensate for Business Services when an Outreach Navigator refers a business to their own organization for services.

See Section II (“Reimbursement) of the Business Outreach or Business Services RFA for more details.

Who is eligible to apply?

Partners must have operated for at least three years and be qualified to provide or facilitate the assistance described in the RFAs. 

If a Partner has not operated for at least three years, it must explain how it is able to carry out the proposed activities for the full duration of the program.

Do partners have to exclusively work with Opportunity Businesses?

Because CO-OP is funded using Federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) grant funds awarded to the County, Opportunity Businesses will be defined using the eligibility requirements for ARPA. Opportunity Businesses must:

  • Be a microbusiness with five or fewer employees, one or more of whom owns the business

  • Be a small business with no more than 500 employees and
    • Qualify as “disproportionately impacted” by the COVID-19 pandemic due to operation in a Qualified Census Tract (see map)

    • Qualify as “impacted” by the COVID-19 pandemic due to one of the following:
      • Decreased revenue or gross receipts
      • Financial insecurity
      • Increased costs
      • Lack of capacity to weather financial hardship
      • Challenges covering payroll, rent or mortgage, and other operating costs
If our organization primarily provides assistance outside of Salt Lake County, but we do provide some assistance to businesses within Salt Lake County, are we eligible to apply?

The program is focused on serving Opportunity Businesses in Salt Lake County. Applications that provide a plan for serving these businesses within Salt Lake County will be scored more favorably.

See Section VI ("Application Submission Criteria and Evaluation Weight") of the Business Outreach Services RFA for more information.

Apply to be an Administratively Approved Services Partner

Administratively Approved Services Partners are organizations whose services are included in the short-list of approved services that our Outreach Partners refer businesses to, but do not receive County funding to provide their services. The services are either paid for by the business receiving them or by other funders (e.g., a corporation, foundation, etc.).

The benefits of being a non-funded Business Services Partner include increasing access to Opportunity Communities, a potential pipeline of businesses in need of services, and scaling impact.

To apply to become an Administratively Approved Services Partner, please fill out the application, and submit it using this form.