PPP Apps Open, Pitken County Shuts Down

Apply for PPP loans and Small Business Relief Grants and help Denver 5 Star Certification applicants. Plus: news from Pitkin and and El Paso counties.

An application for the Paycheck Protection Program with a reminder note saying
Second draw applicants can now apply for additional PPP funding. / enterline © 123RF.com

Applications for the second round of PPP loans are now open for all borrowers, even if you’ve already received a previous loan. Plus, applications for Small Business Relief Program grants are now being accepted in Boulder, Denver, Douglas, El Paso, La Plata, Larimer, and San Miguel counties (deadlines are creeping up by the end of January, so don’t wait to check them out).

In other county news: Pitkin County is moving back to Level Red on Sunday, January 17, and El Paso County is offering a rebate of county sales tax collected since last July. Denver is searching for volunteers to conduct on-site inspections at restaurants applying for the 5 Star Certification Program (the jury is still out on whether you’ll be able to officially inspect your own business, but we wouldn’t rule it out).

The following information comes from the CRA’s January 8, 11, and 12 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.

Federal PPP Applications Open This Week—Access the Application

The first stage of federal Paycheck Protection Program re-opened January 11. To promote widespread community access, initially only community financial institutions will be able to make PPP loans. These loans start January 11, for applicants taking a loan for the first time and start Wednesday, January 13, for applicants taking a second loan. The program will open to all other participating lenders shortly after. 

Click here to view a list of participating Colorado Community Development Financial Institutions. Second draw applicants, access your application here. First draw applicants, access your application here

We will continue to update you on the PPP application process for Round 2 funding for ALL restaurants and related businesses as we receive more information.

DOLA’s Small Business Relief Program

$35.15 million was allocated to the Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) Small Business Relief Program for grants to eligible local governments to disburse to certain small businesses across Colorado struggling from COVID-19.

Eligible businesses need to:

  • Be restaurants and bars, including distilleries, wineries and breweries, and caterers
  • Be founded prior to March 26, 2020
  • Have revenues under $2.5 million
  • Be a corporation, limited liability company, partnership, or sole proprietorship in good standing with all licenses
  • Have at least one employee unless they are a sole proprietorship
  • Show a reduced revenue of at least 20% due to capacity restrictions from public health orders

Businesses will need to apply directly to their county, municipality, or council of government. DOLA anticipates that most local governments will have applications available in the early weeks of January.

Find a list of counties with open applications and applications links here.

Pitkin County Moves to Level Red

After reaching a COVID-19 case incidence rate of 3,000 in a 14-day period, currently the highest in the state, the Pitkin County Board of Health unanimously voted to move the county into Level Red—Severe Risk on the state’s dial dashboard. Starting on Sunday, January 17, at midnight, all Pitkin County businesses must be in compliance with Level Red guidance. In order to move back into Level Orange, the county incidence rate must drop below 700 and show a 14-day decrease. 

As a reminder, the Level Red guidance includes the following: 

  • Closes indoor dining.
  • Restricts outdoor dining to one household per party.
  • Stipulates an 8 p.m. Last Call for alcohol for in-person dining. Takeout alcohol sales may continue until 10 p.m., and delivery alcohol sales may continue until 2 a.m. (unless the county adds restrictions further).

Learn more about the Level Red guidelines here.  View the state dial here.

County officials said they are looking to begin the process of applying for the 5 Star Certification Program to help alleviate the economic consequences this move will have on restaurants. We will continue to update you as Pitkin County moves forward in this process. 

El Paso County Sales Tax Rebate

El Paso County restaurants, bars, taverns, and food trucks may apply for a rebate of the County’s 1% sales tax on your taxable sales up to $70,000 in monthly sales from July 2020 to February 2021.

If your municipality is participating in a rebate program, the County will share your application with that municipality.

To apply, submit a completed application, W-9, and a copy of your most recent State of Colorado sales tax remittance. Questions regarding the program can be directed to SalesTaxRebate@elpasoco.com or call (719) 520-6475.

Find the application here.

SpringsNative—Rally for Restaurants in Pikes Peak

A grant from Pikes Peak United Way has been awarded to fund an initiative to help feed restaurant workers and support local restaurants in the Pikes Peak region. The initiative, called Rally for Restaurants, will pay local restaurants to feed displaced restaurant workers and their immediate family members at no cost.

You can make a donation here.

Restaurants can apply to the program here. Restaurant workers can register for meals 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:

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.

Submit Volunteers to Assist With Denver’s 5 Star Program

Denver restaurateurs, the City of Denver is seeking volunteers to help to move businesses forward in the 5 Star Certification Program. The City anticipates receiving a positive response from the State shortly, which means we need to move quickly to establish the certification process so businesses can apply for approval. In order to certify businesses in a timely manner, they are looking for 150 volunteer auditors to conduct certification inspections by January 13. 

The City is requesting businesses identify as many team members as possible to be trained by H2 Solutions to serve as volunteer auditors. They will be asked to work a minimum of 20 hours per week for five weeks, to be paid by the sponsoring restaurant. Their role will be to conduct in-person inspections at businesses located in the City and County of Denver that have applied for 5 Star Certification. 

If you have employees that are interested in volunteering, view the guidelines here and email volunteers@visitdenver.com.

Join Us for the Virtual 2021 Blue Ribbon Reception

The Blue Ribbon Reception (BRR) is typically the most popular reception of the season among legislators, and always draws a large and lively crowd. While we can’t meet in person this year, the 2021 reception will allow us to directly communicate the severe hardships our industry is facing to our legislators and help them understand the impact their proposals will have on restaurants. In this time of crisis, it is more important than ever that our industry turn out in force to help them understand our hardships.

This reception is an important opportunity for restaurateurs to tell their stories and form connections with our elected officials.  And this year, it will be more important than ever to get our message across – restaurants need their help!  We hope you will attend the event – your support will be paramount to our success.

We have an evening full of important conversations, interactive cooking demos, and fun in store! We look forward to hosting you virtually!

Wednesday, February 3  |  6:00 p.m.  |  Register

Talk to DiningOut! Email your experiences (and thoughts, opinions, and questions—anything, really) to askus@diningout.com


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