Is It the Beginning of the End?

If Colorado reaches herd immunity by the beginning of June, we could be in for a "normal" summer. Plus: updates on a vaccine clinic, PPP, and RRF grants.

Calendar showing April 2 with an book , cup of coffee, and macaron in the background.
April 2 is the magic date. / Copyright: uspmen

If the light at the end of the tunnel is when we reach herd immunity and can resume our lives as normal….go get your vaccine. As soon as we hit that magical 70 percent immunity, we can resume crowding each other in restaurants, at bars, at concerts, at festivals. With any luck, that could be as early as June, since all Coloradans will be eligible to receive the Fauci ouchie this week.

Keep reading for updates on an Aurora equity clinic, the extension of the PPP application window until May 31, and the Small Business Administration announcement that it will begin the launch of the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) in April.

The following information comes from the Colorado Restaurant Association’s March 25 and 29 newsletters. Sign up to receive the full versions here. And take a gander at its Coronavirus Resource Center, COVID-19 Reopening Resources, and Restaurant Worker’s Guide to the COVID-19 Vaccine for more info. 

Vaccine Open to All Coloradans Fri., April 2, Provides Hope for Reopening Timeline

On March 29, Governor Polis announced that the State is expanding COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to all adults in Colorado starting this Friday, April 2. The Governor estimated that it will take between six and eight weeks to vaccinate everyone who wishes to receive the vaccine. This is a notable millstone in Colorado’s efforts to overcome the pandemic, and provides a milestone for the restaurant industry’s reopening timeline. The State has cited immunity achieved through vaccination as a necessary landmark for lifting capacity restrictions and fully reopening Colorado’s businesses. He said that with this mid-late May goal in place, he is hopeful for a nearly normal Colorado summer.

In his press conference, he also stated that even as the vaccine becomes available to the general public, individuals that qualified in a priority access group, restaurant workers included, will still still take precedence in receiving appointments. This includes further efforts to provide industry-specific clinics for restaurant workers across the state. In addition to industry clinics, the State is working to establish more equity clinics in underserved communities statewide through partnerships with community-based organizations, providers, local public health agencies, and Tribes. Finally, Governor Polis announced that Colorado will be launching mobile vaccine clinics to create even more access for Coloradans in the coming weeks. These buses will travel to small communities and meet Coloradans where they are. We will provide more information on any of these vaccination opportunities as announced.

You can view the press conference here.

Update to Havana BID Equity Vaccine Clinic

The Aurora Havana Business Improvement District (BID) and many community partners have been working to host equity vaccine clinics. They will be hosting a first dose clinic on Saturday, April 3, 2021 at The Stampede from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. for patients that qualify under the state’s qualifications. To register, you must make an appointment by calling one of the below providers. These vaccines are being administered by appointment only. Please do not sign up for both clinics. 

  • Provider 1: Dr. Alok Sarwal – Medicine Clinic for Health Equity / Colorado Alliance for Health Equity and Practice (CAHEP). Call 303-954-0058 to make an appointment.
  • Provider 2: Dr. Dawn Fetzco – Colorado Primary Care Clinic. Dr. Dawn Fetzko is now using an online system. PrepMod is an automated scheduling service provided by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. You can see the available appointments and preregister here.

Please note, the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine is only available for people above the age of 18, regardless of state qualification.

Senate Extends PPP Application Deadline

The Senate just concluded a series of amendment votes on the House-passed PPP extension. The amendments failed, and the Senate then passed a new bill addressing the program. As such, the legislation will soon be signed into law. 

The bill:

  • extends the PPP application deadline (currently March 31, 2021) two months, to May 31, 2021; 
  • provides an additional 30 days, after May 31, for the Small Business Administration (SBA) to process pending applications.

This is a positive development for many restaurants that have been seeking the extension. We have been advocating in favor of this legislation to ensure that restaurants have ample time to apply for the program and that SBA processing delays don’t negatively impact applicants.

As a reminder, for restaurants to qualify they must:

  • employ 300 or fewer persons per location;
  • have experienced a 25% or greater gross revenue loss between comparable periods in 2019 and 2020, as a result of COVID-19.

Qualifying restaurants can access up to 3.5 times average monthly payroll (2.5 times for other industries) in forgivable PPP loans.  For more information on the second round of PPP, please click here. 

This site contains information on how PPP interacts with the new Restaurant Revitalization Fund.

Federal Relief Updates From the SBA

Two timely updates from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) from March 24:

  1. In a U.S. Senate Small Business Committee hearing, the SBA said it expects a “phased launch” of the $28.6 billion Restaurant Revitalization Grant program to begin in April, over the next 30 to 45 days. This is the first timeline provided by the SBA, which expects to receive “hundreds of thousands of grants,” as quoted in this article. In partnership with the National Restaurant Association, we continue to work closely with SBA staff on implementation of this program.
  2. The SBA is increasing the maximum eligible amounts for Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL). Beginning April 6, recipients – including those who previously received an EIDL – can access up to $500,000. The previous limit was $150,000.
    • Businesses that previously received an EIDL are not required to submit a request for an increase, as the SBA is expected to reach out directly via email and provide more details about how businesses can request an increase closer to the April 6 implementation date.

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