5 Star Expands, More Small Business Relief Grants

Adams County is accepting just 100 5 Star applications, and Denver gives its 5 Star timeline. Plus, new grants in Arapahoe and Larimer counties.

Shops, businesses and restaurants along Pearl Street Mall, a pedestrian mall in Boulder County.
Boulder restaurants may soon be able to apply for 5 Star certification. / Jennifer Lobo © 123RF.com

The state’s 5 Star Certification Plan expands to Adams County (though only 100 applications are being accepted for now); Boulder County throws its hat in the ring; and Denver County plans to start precertifying businesses in about two weeks—after which businesses should be able to operate at Level Yellow (50 percent capacity).

And small business relief grants of up to $7,000 are now available from Arapahoe and Larimer counties, but get your act and application together; the deadline to apply is as early as next week. It’s not like you have a business to run in the meantime or anything, so that should be easy peasy lemon squeazy…right?

The following information comes from the CRA’s January 19, 21, and 22 newsletters. Sign up to receive the full versions here. And take a gander at its Coronavirus Resource Center and on our Covid-19 Reopening Resources for general info.

Adams County 5 Star Pilot Program Accepting First 100 Applicants

Starting today, January 21, Adams County’s 5 Star Certification Pilot Program is open to the first 100 applicants. The County has applied to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment for full approval of the program and expects to be able to open the program to more businesses sometime in February.  

The program is free to applicants and the County has said it will initially be prioritizing restaurants for approval. In order to be eligible, businesses must not have received any non-compliance citations from the Tri-County Health Department after December 18, 2020.

Find the application here.

Boulder County Applies to 5 Star Program

Yesterday, the Boulder County 5 Star Program Administrative Committee announced it has submitted its application to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment for approval. 

Since Boulder County has not sustained “Orange Level” metrics in its two-week COVID-19 incidence for the required amount of time, a 5 Star Program could not yet allow businesses to operate at a lower level on the dial; however, the Administrative Committee supports submitting the request to operate a local program now to allow the Committee time to establish and build the program so that once all metrics are met, certified businesses would be allowed to operate in Level Yellow.

Boulder County’s 5 Star Certification Program application proposes to employ the services of a third-party vendor, H2 Manufacturing Solutions (the same vendor used by Denver), to accelerate the implementation of the program. Boulder is seeking 75 volunteers to assist with certifying businesses.

Any business interested in being certified through the Boulder County 5 Star Program or submitting volunteers can fill out the following form and will be alerted to when the business application is available here.

Denver Will Hold 5 Star Info Sessions and Begin Pre-Certifying Businesses in About 2 Weeks

The City and County of Denver intends to host two information sessions to help businesses prepare to apply to the program and open its 5 Star Certification applications in about two weeks. Denver will begin pre-certifying businesses at that time. In order to begin implementing the program, however, Denver must see seven days of Level Orange COVID-19 case metrics. As soon as the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment notifies Denver that they are allowed to begin the program, all pre-certified businesses, and future applicants, will be able to operate in Level Yellow. 

We will distribute details of the information sessions and changes in program status as we receive them.

Stay tuned for more information! For general 5 Star information, please visit Denver5Star.com. This site will be updated with more program details, including requirements for businesses soon.

IMPORTANT! Help Our Advocacy Efforts During the Legislative Session: Respond to Our Legislative Survey

In advance of the 2021 State Legislative Session, starting on February 16, the Colorado Restaurant Association is collecting information on the economic impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak on the restaurant industry, as well as details on how anticipated legislative proposals will impact you.

While this survey is longer than our monthly impact survey, we hope that you will take the time to complete it – your answers arm us with valuable data that allows us to advocate most effectively on your behalf.

Data collected in this survey will specifically make a case to State legislators to pass restaurant-friendly proposals. We also plan to use the data collected from this information in other state and local advocacy efforts, in recovery conversations across the State, and with the media. Please be assured that all information provided is anonymous and strictly confidential.

Respond to the survey here.

Applications Open for Arapahoe County Small Business Relief Grants

Arapahoe County has been awarded just over $4 million from the State of Colorado for small business grants ranging from $3,500 up to $7,000. This grant is focused on the most vulnerable businesses impacted by the pandemic. Restaurants, bars, and caterers are eligible for these grants. Businesses that received CARES funding and can show a loss after receiving that aid are eligible to apply. 

View full eligibility requirements and apply here. The application deadline is Sunday, January 31.

Applications Open for Larimer County Small Business Relief Grants

Applications are open for Larimer County Small Business Relief Program grants. Businesses that are currently operating, and have a reduced revenue of at least 20% due to capacity restrictions from public health orders, may be eligible for the following funding: 

  • Businesses with less than $500,000 in revenue (2019) may receive up to $3,500.
  • Businesses with revenue between $500,000 and $1 million (2019) may receive up to $5,000.
  • Businesses with revenue between $1 million and $2.5 million (2019) may receive a payment up to $7,000.

Larimer County is partnering with the City of Fort Collins, City of Loveland, and Town of Estes Park to serve as “Municipal Business Hubs” and ensure county-wide access to the program.

Find the application and full eligibility requirements here. The application deadline is Wednesday, January 27.

OSHA Updates in the Age of COVID-19

Most employers are required to keep records of work-related illnesses and injuries. As you might expect, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic raised questions related to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recordkeeping guidelines. The agency recently clarified the employer requirements related to COVID-19, following confusion over reporting and recordkeeping requirements from April and May 2020 that provided a bit of leeway on enforcement.

Learn about OSHA updates in this article from our partners at Pinnacol Assurance here.

5 Star State Certification Program County Guide

We are beginning to see restaurants reopen their indoor dining rooms at a limited capacity in counties with approved 5 Star State Certification Programs. If you have any questions regarding what guidelines certified restaurants have to follow, click here.

Counties interested in implementing the 5 Star State Certification Program must submit a variance application for State approval. Once approved, the county can then launch its application for businesses. Interested businesses can apply for the program through their local county application system. Approved restaurants can then utilize the capacity guidelines and last call hours of the next, less restrictive dial level.

We will continue to provide an updated list of counties with approved 5 Star State Certification Programs and how to find details on the specifics of the program and application process in each county. Below is a list of the 5-Star operating allowances for each county.

  • Adams County – (pilot program open to first 100 restaurants, full approval pending) Allows for current operation in Level Orange
  • Arapahoe County – Allows for current operation in Level Orange
  • Broomfield County – Allows for current operation in Level Yellow
  • Denver County (application approved, implementation pending decrease in COVID-19 metrics)
  • Elbert County – Allows for current operation in Level Yellow
  • Douglas County – Allows for current operation in Level Orange
  • Jefferson County – Allows for current operation in Level Orange
  • La Plata County – Allows for current operation in Level Orange
  • Larimer County – Allows for current operation in Level Orange
  • Routt County (application submitted, approval pending)
  • Summit County – Allows for current operation in Level Orange

You can also access our 5 Star County Guide on our website here. You can read more about the 5 Star State Certification Program here.

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