CRA: More Booze Curfews, Grant Money in Metro Area

Curated news from the CRA.

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Group of seven young men and women sitting at a restaurant table, drinking coffee, and wearing face masks.
This is still legal at Denver restaurants—for now. / Mirko Vitali © 123RF.com

Do you feel like you just got a stern talking-to from your mom? Us, too. If you tuned in to Governor Polis’ press conference—or any number of municipal meetings—last week, there’s a good chance you came away feeling relieved that you didn’t get grounded for a month as well as vaguely threatened. “(Insert governmental entity here) isn’t angry with you; it’s just disappointed…but you’d better shape up, young lady,” was the prevailing tone of the day.

Here’s what changed in Adams, Arapahoe, and Denver counties, as well as what’s coming down the pike in Castle Rock and Commerce City. There’s also news on a new grant program for Denver restaurants—from DoorDash, of all people.

The following information comes from the CRA’s Friday, October 16 newsletter. Sign up to receive the full version here.

Adams County Introduces New Restrictions to Mitigate COVID-19 Spread

Adams County announced the Tri-County Health Department would issue a public health order to limit public and private gatherings in Adams County in an attempt to reduce the recent surge in COVID-19 cases and maintain Adams County’s status at Safer at Home Level 2. You can view the dial framework here. You can read the public health order here. The order will enact the following restrictions that affect restaurants:

  • Personal indoor gatherings are limited to no more than five individuals. Outdoor personal gatherings are limited to no more than 10 individuals. Life rite ceremonies are excluded. Nothing in this order prohibits the gathering of members living in the same household. 
  • All alcohol beverage sales must cease at 10 p.m.

The order went into effect October 16, 2020, at 9 p.m. and will remain in effect until Sunday, November 1, 2020, at 11:59 p.m. unless it is extended. We strongly encourage you to ask that your employees be vigilant and adhere with all existing public health orders, even outside of work. If these orders fail to curb the spread of COVID-19 in Adams County, there could be further restrictions for restaurants.

Arapahoe County Introduces New Restrictions to Mitigate COVID-19 Spread

Arapahoe County announced that the Tri-County Health Department issued an emergency public health order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and prevent Arapahoe County from sliding backwards on the dial framework. Arapahoe County is currently at Safer at Home Level 1. You can read the full order here. The order requires the following:

  • Personal gatherings are limited to no more than 10 individuals. Nothing in this order prohibits the gathering of members living in the same household. 
  • On-premise liquor licensees must cease alcohol beverage sales at 11 p.m. This applies to both on-premise and takeout consumption. 
  • All non-critical, office-based businesses are encouraged to further increase remote work options and reduce in-person work to the greatest extent possible.
  • The order will be in effect from 11 p.m. October 16, through 11:59 p.m. Sunday, November 1, 2020.

Arapahoe County indicated that it is taking these steps in an effort to satisfy the state and remain in Safer at Home Level 1. Businesses that are experiencing revenue losses are encouraged to apply for financial relief through the County’s business impact grant program, available here

We strongly encourage you to ask that your employees be vigilant and adhere with all existing public health orders, even outside of work. If these orders fail to curb the spread of COVID-19 in Arapahoe County, there could be further restrictions for restaurants.

This bears repeating: We strongly encourage you to ask that your employees be vigilant and adhere with all existing public health orders, even outside of work.

Denver Introduces New Restrictions to Mitigate COVID-19 Spread

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock held a press conference today during which he explained the two new public health orders (effective October 16) aimed at mitigating the spread of COVID-19 within the City of Denver. Mayor Hancock called the recent virus trends “alarming” and encouraged public compliance with the new orders in an effort to avoid slipping back to Level 3 of Safer at Home, which would mean capacities in restaurants could be reduced to 25 percent. Denver is currently at Level 2.

Updated Mask Order (read the full order here):

  • This order requires face coverings in more settings and is in effect immediately.
  • In addition to all indoor places of public accommodation, individuals must also wear a face covering in outdoor public spaces when it is not practicable or possible for individuals to socially distance and maintain a six-foot distance from others, excluding immediate family members, caretakers, or members of the same household.  
  • This requirement does not apply when individuals are engaged in activities where an individual’s exposure to another person is not prolonged, such as while walking past another person in public.
  • Restaurant employees are still required to wear masks at all times. Restaurant guests are required to wear masks unless they are seated at their table and eating and drinking.  

Updated Safer at Home Order Limiting Gatherings (read the full order here):

  • Please note that the gathering limitations in this order do not apply to restaurant employees. Restaurants may still seat tables up to 10 people.
  • Public and private gatherings are limited to no more than five individuals when not otherwise regulated as a specific sector or activity. Nothing in the order prohibits the gathering of members living in the same residence. Because restaurants have existing regulations and public health guidance, these new limitations do not apply to restaurants. 

Although these orders do not implement significant changes within restaurants, we strongly encourage you to ask that your employees be vigilant and adhere to all existing public health orders, even outside of work. If these orders fail to curb the spread of COVID-19 in Denver, there will be further restrictions for restaurants.

Local Update: Meetings in Castle Rock and Commerce City

On October 19 and 20, councils in Castle Rock and Commerce City will be discussing issues that are relevant to restaurants: Castle Rock will discuss a local grant and loan program, and Commerce City will consider extending its expanded patio program through the winter. See more details, including how to join, here.

DoorDash Now Accepting Applications From Denver Restaurants for Winter Patio Grants

As temperatures drop and the days get shorter, restaurants are facing an entirely new set of challenges. In response, DoorDash is providing $5,000 grants to small businesses selected through an application process in select cities across the US. The grants are part of DoorDash’s Main Street Strong initiative to help restaurants recover and succeed amidst COVID-19 related challenges. Eligibility criteria for the grants:

  • $3 million 2019 annual sales or less per store
  • Three stores or fewer operating today
  • 50 employees or fewer per store
  • Does not have to be a DoorDash partner 
  • At least one store must be located in Denver

Apply for assistance and learn more here. The deadline to apply is November 6, 2020.

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