Downtown Colorado Inc (DCI) had our thirteenth webinar of the series covering various topics on the commercial district response to COVID-19 and how people can support each other while maintaining the CDC’s recommendation of social distancing. Thursday’s call focused on funding opportunities and a helpful guide for outdoor expansion.
The June 25 call focused on helping communities move business outdoors. The speakers Sophie Shulman, from Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and Cheney Bostic, StudioSeed provided resources to help communities plan for different types of spaces. Sophie shared two grant opportunities from CDOT. The funding is available for main street revitalization and encouragement and promotion of teleworking. Both grants are on a rolling application basis which allows for timely distribution. Cheney Bostic of Studioseed shared a friendly business guide for outdoor expansion tactics which included multiple options for varying contexts, design ideas, and helpful resources. After Cheney shared the guide, we heard from attendees who shared some of their reopening experiences and what adaptations were being made as well as what challenges they are facing.
DCI was pleased to showcase resources for funding ideas from Sophie Shulman, CDOT and outdoor expansion tactics from Cheney Bostic, Studioseed.
CDOT GRANT OPPORTUNITYCDOT has a new grant program to support public health and active transportation. The grants are varying sizes and will provide communities with the ability to improve the built environment in a way that is especially needed to encourage social distancing with safe and healthy transportation and outdoor dining and business.
Revitalizing Main StreetThe Revitalizing Main Street grant helps with the revitalization of main streets and adaptation of varying tactics which have been highlighted during the reopening of downtown businesses and restaurants after the initial stay at home order due to COVID-19. The Revitalizing Main Street CDOT grant has a rolling application process.
Safe & Flexible CommunitiesCDOT will soon be releasing the grant application for Safe & Flexible Communities which will include microgrants of up to $5,000 to local communities and nonprofits. The grants will help add capacity to encourage and promote continued teleworking. The grant has a rolling application process and applications will soon be available.
CDOT Grant applications and instructions
FRIENDLY BUSINESS GUIDE FOR OUTDOOR EXPANSION TACTICSA Friendly Business Guide for Outdoor Expansion Tactics was put together by Cheney Bostic of Studioseed for the town of Lakewood and can be adapted to any community. The guide includes various layouts and settings with a selection of options for each, design ideas, and resources.
The layouts include:
Main Street Context
Repurposing On-Street Parking
Repurposing a Street
Repurposing an Alley and Rear Parking
Shopping Center Context
Repurposing Off-Street Parking
Drive Thru Context
The guide includes outdoor design ideas of seating, parklets, and street/parking barriers, designated alcohol area, physical separation/distancing, planters/landscaping and more with consideration of price and permanence. After the design options there is a list of resources of Colorado-based companies as well as online tactical urbanism materials helpful for outdoor expansion .
A Friendly Business Guide for Outdoor Expansion Tactics
COMMUNITIES’ REOPENING EXPERIENCESFollowing the sharing of the outdoor expansion guide, attendees from various Colorado communities shared their experiences with outdoor expansion and some of the solutions as well as challenges they have faced.
DenverDenver restaurants are exploring the idea of expanding into adjacent alleys but there are varying factors that need to be considered. The factors include safety, and fears of cars quickly turning into alleys. To mitigate the fear, there are ideas of ensuring there is clear signage and portrayal to vehicles on the street that may want to turn into the alley that they won’t be able to. Another factor being considered for opening into alleys is the presence of smelly dumpsters and grease traps which would negatively affect customers’ dining experience. To mitigate this, there are ideas of ensuring there is buffer space between the diners and the dumpsters, as well as a possibility of controlling the air to send the smell away from the diners.
Retailers are looking at partnerships with businesses and nonprofits to expand outdoors. On 14th and Ogden nonprofits are partnering with retailers and a yoga studio. The nonprofit partner will hold the liability insurance policy which makes expansion easier for the retailers and yoga studio.
GoldenGolden has barricades, which they have adjusted as they have been able to observe pedestrian and downtown movement during the weekends. Restaurants and businesses have had the opportunity to decorate the barriers if they would like. Golden closed down Washington Avenue, which is one of their main downtown streets for two weekends. They found that people didn’t like it, so they allow vehicles on the road and use barriers between the moving vehicles and seated customers for expanded outdoor restaurant space and business. Golden is also in the process of expanding outdoor restaurant space into Miners Alley which has 3 restaurants that share the alley.
GreeleyThroughout reopening, there has been some disagreement over closing certain streets with fears in ease of accessibility. Greeley implemented a good neighbor agreement which needs to be signed if there is an objection in closing the streets. The agreement comes up with solutions for everyone involved, and makes sure everyone is comfortable with the situation. The agreement includes contact options for people to call if they need certain access to the closed street and that it can be adjusted specifically for that purpose. The purpose may include moving someone’s mattress or helping somebody bring their groceries in.
QUESTIONS + ANSWERSAre there any communities that are thinking of the outdoor expansions as potentially permanent?There are communities that are definitely considering it, or at least seeing it as a potential seasonal opportunity.
Does the DOLA grant money/application that is currently available online for outdoor expansions as well, or is that money yet to be determined?Here is the online information for the DOLA grant: DOLA Information
ABOUT CHENEY BOSTICCheney is a professional consultant with 15 years of experience in the fields of architecture, urban design and planning. Cheney works with communities of all sizes - from visioning “big ideas” to implementing complex projects. Cheney has worked on urban design projects throughout the United States, with a focus on the Mountain West and West Coast communities. Her passion lies in urban infill projects that respond to an existing context, corridor projects that seek to transform over time, and transit-oriented development projects that add value to underutilized land. An overarching goal in all of Cheney’s projects is a desire to increase quality of life for residents and inspire action.
ABOUT SOPHIE SHULMANSophie Shulman, who began her career as a presidential management fellow, served as acting director of the Research and Innovative Technology Administration in the Department of Transportation (DOT) from November 2016 to January 2017.Shulman is from Seattle, where she graduated from the Lakeside School in 2006. She then went east for college, earning a B.A. in international studies in 2010 and an M.A. in American foreign policy, international economics from Johns Hopkins University in 2011. In April 2013, Shulman took a job in the White House as deputy press secretary and executive secretary for the Domestic Policy Council, moving up to deputy press secretary in November. In July 2014, Shulman was named the council’s deputy chief of staff. She moved to DOT in June 2015, first as a policy adviser in the office of the secretary, then, in April 2016, as senior policy adviser. While at DOT, Shulman worked on the Smart City Challenge, in which medium-sized cities were given the opportunity to come up with plans for integrated efficient transportation systems optimizing technology and data.
On June 18th, 2020 Downtown Colorado Inc (DCI) held a workshop on how commercial districts (URAs, BIDs, DDAs) have responded to the COVID-19 pandemic. The workshop featured discussions and updates from local leaders from across the Western Slope including Durango, Montrose, Grand Junction, and Glenwood Springs on how district development tools are demonstrating their worth in the recovery and response efforts.
Sallie Clark, USDA Rural Development, opened up the workshop by providing updates and information on how Colorado’s USDA Rural Development State office is helping Colorado communities recover economically from the COVID pandemic. USDA is making available up to $1 billion in loan guarantees to help rural businesses and agricultural producers supplement their working capital to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the economic impacts of the coronavirus. Find more information here: Business & Industry CARES Act Program.
Brandon Stam, Director of Downtown Grand Junction, began this portion of the workshop with an overview of how Downtown Grand Junction (the umbrella organization for DDA and BID) have been dealing with the pandemic. Downtown Grand Junction worked with the City to enable free parking and curbside pickup for businesses. Downtown Grand Junction also started a gift card promotion: spend $25 at a downtown business, and the DDA would send you a $10 gift card for that business. This promotion leveraged $70,000 of spending at downtown businesses. This led to partnerships with neighboring towns, Palisades and Fruita on promotions as well. Downtown Grand Junction has worked to get Colorado Creative Industry micro-grants for street art, expanding downtown dining areas and expanding downtown parklets.
Alex Rugoff, City of Durango, and Tim Walsworth, Downtown Durango BID, discussed Durango’s recent URA formation, how public/private partnerships are critical to incentivizing community investment, and how districts can support downtown economic recovery during a pandemic. Durango used a robust community outreach strategy to garner support for their URA formation. City staff wanted to educate people and hear feedback from the community on development needs. For example, the local school district, 9-R, recognized the value of tax increment financing to promote affordable housing projects that would benefit their workforce and supported the formation of the URA.
Tim Walsworth broke down Downtown Durango BID’s COVID pandemic strategy for supporting downtown businesses by creating a local task force. Downtown Durango BID installed physical design elements such as bump-outs, closing lanes, and closing parking spaces to help attract people to visit downtown businesses. The task force created the “Bump Outs for Businesses Program” and led focus groups to pick areas downtown where bump-outs could be used for restaurant space. The effort, in partnership with the City of Durango and CDOT, led to 30 businesses getting bump-outs; reduced Main Ave from four lanes to 3 lanes; traded 50 parking spaces for 11,000 sq. ft. of space for businesses to operate in.
Chelsey Rosty and Ann Morgenthaler, City of Montrose, closed out this portion on how the City of Montrose utilizes a “Main Street Approach” with its Development and Revitalization Team (DART). The cornerstones of DART’s approach to Main Street are vision, design, promotion, economic vitality, and organization. DART leveraged a $52,000 DOLA loan to create an opportunity zone downtown and updated physical design elements. In 2019, 11 new businesses were opened and 8 “quick win” projects (such as tables and seating in the downtown plaza) were completed
Matt Ashby, director of the Windsor DDA, gave a snapshot of Windsor’s DDA (created in 2011). There is a mill levy (5 mills) as well as a sales and property TIF in place for the DDA to fund projects. The Windsor DDA is focused on development and “catalyst projects” rather than events. Matt looked at “catalyst projects” that are used to jump the tax increment, so that a DDA can invest in the community overtime. Projects include the Hearth Restaurant and the Windsor Mill project..
Maureen Phair, director of the Arvada URA, discussed how to use an urban renewal tools to promote development in downtowns. This includes TIF, property acquisition, and the importance of partnerships with local governments, organizations, state governments, and other taxing districts. Check out the Arvada Urban Renewal Authority here!
This portion of the workshop featured Western Slope municipal leaders as they share updates on what their communities are doing in response to COVID in a Start, Stop, Continue format style of discussion. Leaders included Bill Bell, Montrose City Manager; Greg Caton, Grand Junction City Manager; Dean Brookie, Mayor of Durango and Jenn Ooton, Assistant City Manager of Glenwood Springs.
Bill Bell, Montrose City Manager
Greg Caton, Grand Junction City Manager
Dean Brookie, Mayor of Durango
Jenn Ooton, Assistant City Manager of Glenwood Springs
QUESTIONS + ANSWERS
Grand Junction- How are you tracking and running the gift-card program? How labor intensive is the program for staff?There is an online for people to post image of receipt, and then staff will mail the gift card. It has been labor intensive, however staff normally focused on event planning have been able to work on this program temporarily. The gift card vendor is EML. Check EML out here.
Glenwood Springs- How did the City and DDA work with Glenwood Springs Beer Garden to allow for alley access and parking lot activation to server alcohol?The City leased the alleyway to the brewery, and it will be used for emergency vehicle access. They are not using it for public use. This allows the brewery to have a clear connection from their business to their parking lot, which allowed for them to expand seating into parking lot.
Downtown Colorado Inc (DCI) had our twelfth webinar of the series covering various topics on the commercial district response to COVID-19 and how people can support each other while maintaining the CDC’s recommendation of social distancing. Thursday’s call focused on creative event adaptations and tools communities have used during the pandemic.
The June 11 Call focused on Events Post-Covid 19. Colorado’s commercial districts, whether supported by chambers of commerce, business improvement districts (BIDs), downtown development authorities (DDAs), or other entities are struggling with fundraising and community building as social distancing requirements limit the way we gather as a community. The dialogue during the June 11 call brought together different leaders from different sized communities to share ideas and get the creating juices flowing.
DCI was pleased to showcase ideas for virtual events as well as in-person events. DCI highlighted a unique event concept developed by Brian Corrigan, the Farm to Spaceship Dinner, which was an innovation bringing together a restaurant, bartender, florist, two graphic artists, and a DJ to create a take out dinner and dance party on Mars. John Moore from Splashmob provided the DCI call participants with a demonstration of the new Splashmob app, but also highlighted the Farm to Spaceship Dinner with this new tool. DCI then presented two northern Colorado community leaders, Melody Christensen from Brush! Chamber of Commerce/Main Street to talk about their process of determining to do a Fourth of July Cavalcade since they are unable to have their traditional parade; and Bianca Fisher from Greeley Downtown Development Authority (DDA) presented Greeley’s Friday Fest which has gone virtual. Other communities who were on the call shared adaptations they are making as well.
Some of the key concepts and topics for discussion included the process for building more:
Extended outdoor space for events and business;
Virtual Events to engage and raise awareness and funding;
Drive - in Movies and Concerts and how this can work;
Bike events and diving into who is working on these areas.
June 11 Events Post-Covids 19
As a part of DCI’s resources, each week we make the presentations, links to partners, and highlights of the discussion available. Please review in more detail some resources from this week’s call.
SplashmobSplashmob allows you to display your content on the phones of anyone that attends your live event and connects to your splashmob experience. Create a mobile show, and display it on the phones of anyone that connects to the show without the audience needing to download an app.
Splashmob is customizable depending on what you would like for your event, and it has a variety of features that show up on event attendees’ phones including videos, pictures, poll questions, animations, colors, a selfie feature, and more.
For more information and/or a demo, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
FARM TO SPACESHIP DINNER IMMERSIVE EXPERIENCEThe Farm to Spaceship Dinner is a unique take out dining experience in Denver created by Brian Corrigan. The experience incorporated collaboration from a restaurant, bartender, florist, two graphic artists, and a DJ. The dinner is a multicourse meal which comes along with an instructional video which helps carry out the space theme. The experience was available for three Friday sessions and participants picked up the kits at Somebody People in Denver.
Farm to Spaceship
EXTENDED OUTDOOR SPACE
BrushBrush will be having a Fourth of July Cavalcade instead of their traditional parade. The cavalcade will ensure that everyone participating in the experience will stay in their vehicles and there will be no throwing of candy or water balloons. The route of the cavalcade has been expanded by 8 blocks to provide more space for social distancing, which includes passing a school and church which both have large parking lots. Brush will have their traditional art walk which expands from the library to the museum and has space to ensure people will be practicing social distancing.
Florence Florence usually has their annual, well-known wet and dry parade for Fourth of July. The parade consists of two blocks, with one block being the dry block and the other one being the wet block. People on the wet block get soaked by fire trucks and also have water guns. To adapt with Covid, Florence is looking at the possibility of vastly extending the route to go into residential streets and main street to allow people to practice social distancing.
Florence Fourth of July Plans
Old Colorado CityOld Colorado City has come up with the event Red, White & Cruise for the 4th of July which will feature a classic cars cruise through closed streets. The closed streets allow for expanded seating so people can practice social distancing.
Old Colorado City will also have a special event Father’s Day weekend which will include a sidewalk sale and a chalk art fest. Some streets will be closed for the Father’s Day weekend event as well so people can practice social distancing.
GreeleyFriday Fest is a well attended, regular event Greeley has during the summer which kicks off additional fun community events and concerts. Greeley has a common consumption area where the events usually take place.
Greeley has now launched virtual Friday Fest to support local creatives that normally would be able to showcase their talent and work at the in-person events. Greeley has continued to see support for the virtual events from regular sponsors, which has then in turn been able to support the local creatives as well as the recording studios that are being used for the virtual Friday Fests.
Paonia Paonia is planning a virtual storyfest which will include writers, poets, and local musicians. The event will have virtual workshops, speakers, readings and performances. The storyfest is a two day event on Friday, June 26th and Saturday, June 27th. The keynote address will be given on Friday by award-winning author-adventurer Craig Childs followed by a full day of workshops and performances from talented faculty on Saturday, this celebration of wordcraft will provide inspiration and instruction for writers and lovers of literature alike.
Paonia Blue Sage Center for the Arts StoryFest
DRIVE IN MOVIES
Centennial Centennial has planned Wheels & Reels which is a community drive in movie event, which is scheduled for June 18th and June 25th. The drive in movie allows for gathering in a social distancing manner. There will be an empty car space between each car at the event, and it is a ticketed event so there is a regulation in the number of cars. Centennial encourages event attendees to support local restaurants before the drive in movies and to bring the locally purchased food and snacks with them to enjoy.
Centennial Wheels & Reels
Wheat Ridge Wheat Ridge usually has movies in the park series during the summer so they have adapted it to be a drive in movie series.
QUESTIONS + ANSWERS
Are there any stats regarding the benefits for businesses from the virtual Friday Fest? Have businesses seen an increase in sales revenue?Greeley doesn’t have stats yet since this past Friday was the first virtual Friday Fest, but there is definitely room to grow the integration with local businesses and encourage Friday Fest attendees to support local businesses as well as special promotions.
Bike riding has increased during COVID-19. Is anyone doing a bike-in event or ride-in bike event? Lakewood has previously offered quirky bike history tours, and are planning on continuing them this year since they are done in small groups, and turn out well with small groups.
Wheat Ridge usually does bike cruiser rides in small groups, so they are planning on continuing those this year as well.
Downtown Colorado Inc (DCI) had our eleventh webinar of the series covering various topics on the response to COVID-19 and how people can support each other while maintaining the CDC’s recommendation of social distancing. Thursday’s call focused on
Terri Takata-Smith from Downtown Boulder Partnership and DCI Board Member shared examples and experiences from re-opening in Boulder. Alex Rugoff from Durango shared adaptations and initiatives happening during the re-opening process.
Some of the key concepts shared by Boulder and Durango, included the use of
Expanding Business Outdoors
Engaging the Community
Enhanced Communication Efforts
Beautification of Boards and Barriers
We have included some of the details from each presenter below followed by a recap of the questions and answers from the discussion..
DURANGO REOPENING EXPERIENCEThe strong business improvement district (BID) in Durango has been an important aspect in the successful reopening of downtown. The BID surveyed their businesses to gauge needs, prepared businesses for PPP, and adjustments of free parking, sales tax deferment, and a relaxed sign code for temporary signs. The businesses asked for a mask order, so the city has a mask order.
Durango had the mantra that they wanted to “reopen once, reopen right.” For reopening Durango has bump outs for businesses to provide more room for social distancing without shutting down Main Street. Many restaurants have also been able to use sidewalk and parking lane space for more seating.
Durango created 12 sector teams in their economic recovery taskforce to cover the different areas of the economy. The 12 teams have regular updates related to their sector, as well as a hub of resources. 12 Sector Teams
BOULDER REOPENING EXPERIENCE
Resident SurveyBoulder partnered with NRC/Polco to conduct a resident readiness survey to gauge the community’s feelings on re-opening and visiting businesses in person. Over 1,000 community members responded to the survey which was open for 10 days. The results of the survey especially helped the business owners understand how the community was feeling and what additional steps they could take to further assure customers that they are taking all of the needed steps for safety.
Outdoor Expansion Boulder has expanded on regulation and use of public space, which have included liquor license space and the use of parking space and alleyways as additional seating. The west end of Pearl Street is closed, so both pedestrians and restaurant customers have room to practice social distancing.
Curb-side and pick up zones are in effect for retail which includes free permits and use of loading zones and parking as pick up areas which are free of charge for 10 minutes.
BOULDER COMMUNICATION IDEASThroughout the pandemic, clear communication has been key for both business and public use.
Business CommunicationSlack has been an excellent tool to connect businesses according to sector, as well as providing important updates to all of the sectors. Boulder also created a business resource hub with covid resources and businesses have worked together regarding their business hours.
Welcoming businesses back was also an important aspect of reopening, which included distributing ‘Back to Business Gift Bags.’ The gift bags were filled with reusable Downtown Boulder branded masks, sanitizer, PPE resources from Energize Colorado, and social distancing floor decals. Downloadable window posters and customizable hours posters are available to businesses as well.
Public CommunicationBoulder is welcoming people back through showcasing the safety measures that all businesses are taking, as well as continuing curbside and online services for people who aren’t comfortable coming out yet. Bouldervirtually.com is the hub for the virtual public welcoming and other offers, including drone footage showcasing the downtown businesses welcoming people back while wearing facemasks. Bouldervirtually.com
Communication for the public has consisted of unified signage throughout downtown, and window posters and hours posters at the businesses. Businesses have been showing by example of wearing facemasks, and the statues also have masks on. Continual reminders of the importance of facemasks are spread throughout downtown on 38 signs. Social media messaging is consistently updated for the public to see with pictures of local businesses and the safety measures they have in place.
Beautification EffortsBusinesses are continuing to welcome the public by continuing normal beautification efforts in the downtown area. Each year the downtown partnership offers free flowers to businesses to maintain during the summer, and this year was no exception.
Some downtown business windows have been boarded up due to fears of damage. The boarded up windows does not make downtown as welcoming which worried many people, so the Downtown Boulder Partnership has come up with a creative solution of painting the boards. The Partnership is working with local art organizations, and local artists to paint the boards, and when the boards are ready to come down, they will be auctioned off and the money will support local arts and artists.
Relating to design-wise of the requirements of dining in the street, are there barriers between seats and lanes? In Boulder, the street is completely closed to traffic at the west end of Pearl Street so there is no concern over a need for barriers between seats and traffic lanes. The temporary seating goes into the street, and then there is an opening for emergency vehicles down the center.
What is happening with the liquor license situation? No new liquor licenses are being issued at this time, it has just been an extension on already existing ones. There is a $150 fee for the extension from the state. Greeley has been able to cover the $150 fee for their restaurants.
Can anyone speak to the variances about hot springs/bathhouses during the reopening? Glenwood hot springs got a variance from the local and state governments. There may be some variation depending on chlorinated and non-chlorinated situations.
Has there been any pushback from businesses on street closure issues? Some businesses and residents were against it but now that we are reopening we are seeing that there was an overestimation or residents’ readiness to come back.
Can you speak to the experience of restaurants vs. retail during re-opening?There is an important balancing act between restaurants and retail since they have different needs and some adjustments to reopening don’t fit everyone in the same way. Communication between businesses is key, including restaurants communicating with retail. Some retailers are also recognizing that even though the bump outs won’t directly help their retail, it will help restaurants downtown, and anything downtown will help them as a retailer.
There has been some contention for retailers of losing parking spots to restaurant seating, but there needs to be a communication of how it isn’t a loss, and there is plenty of parking. Durango is also being very strategic in where the bump outs are, as well as using their six year parking data. Better marketing of where parking is available is included in their reopening process.
Boulder Example Powerpoint
As Downtown Colorado, Inc. (DCI) works to assist communities to connect and learn from one another, the powerful trend of community fundraising and online sales is flooding in. DCI reached out to a few successful efforts to understand the process, partners, and price tag for doing an auction. We are pleased to share some examples of communities that held successful online auctions to rally the community in a new and profound way. They have shared their experiences and takeaways in hope that we can all learn and get better at navigating this tool. Thank you to the partners who generously shared their information:
Chaffee County: Now This is Love Auction
Canon City: Royal Gorgeous Deals
Leadville/Lake County: Share the Love Auction
The online auction went live just 3 days after conception, ran for 10 days
From start to finish, money was in the hands of the businesses within 15 days.
The live auction ran for 14 days.
Main Street partnered with the existing Lake County School District Arts Program auction 9 days before launch date. The auction ran for 12 days
SELLERS + PRODUCTS
There were 871 different items in the auction from gift cards to art and even furniture. There were 2,017 different items sold in the auction
58 businesses, one business had 13 artists participate. 223 products uploaded. Our digital marketing reached 1.5 million people and the site had over 30,000 browsers.
Over 30 local small businesses benefited, in addition to approximately 20 more on behalf of the Lake County School District Arts Program
The overall auction generated $116,514.88. 100% of all sales went directly back to each business.
The overall auction generated only $9,400 in sales. 93.5% went back to the businesses
Cañon City did not have an independent fund adequate enough to absorb the 6.5% fees. This was an inhibitor for businesses to participate.
Approximately $50,000 in total sales/donations was raised
TIPS FOR SUCCESS
NUTS + BOLTS
BUILD STRONG PARTNERSHIPS
Offer customers option of donating directly to one or more non-profit beneficiaries
BE FLEXIBLE It is likely that the needs/desires/challenges faced by your local business community are unique – be prepared to pivot if the feedback you receive makes sense to improve your program’s chances of success – again make sure all of your partners are on board with proposed improvements
Downtown Colorado Inc (DCI) had our eighth webinar of the series covering various topics on the response to COVID-19 and how people can support each other while maintaining the CDC’s recommendation of social distancing. Thursday’s call focused on ideas and approaches to consider when reopening becomes an option.
Matthew Bossler, PLA, of SHIFT Planning and Design, LLC shared suggestions and examples of solutions for converting outdoor spaces into additional restaurant seating to follow social distancing guidelines when places reopen. Along with outdoor spaces for restaurant use there is a coinciding adjustment needed for liquor licenses. DCI has worked with our District Committee, made up of Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) and Downtown Development Authorities (DDAs) from around the state and our DCI Board Member, Rick Kron, to draft a letter to Governor Polis asking for an executive order concerning liquor license adjustments to be made at the local level during these unprecedented times to allow municipalities to determine how best to extend the area where service can be provided to help businesses survive.
Current SituationCOVID-19 has impacted everybody, especially restaurants, retail businesses, and personal care service businesses. Restaurants and retail businesses have been able to minimize the amount of people inside their establishments by doing curbside pickups and delivery service. Personal care service businesses are slowly opening up with new rules to follow social distancing guidelines. As the state slowly opens, and people are allowed to come outside of their homes for less essential items, there is a need for space that accommodates social distancing guidelines. Consumers are cautiously coming out of their homes, but many are still hesitant since there is still much uncertainty of controlling the spread of COVID-19. Adaptation of outdoor spaces will be a very important tool in extending restaurant and business space and building consumer trust during the initial reopening stage.
Initial Reopening Stage Components
Modification of Public Space: How can we redesign open spaces for safety and social distancing?
Ensure Main Street Survives: How can communities avoid block after block of empty storefronts?
Public space modification will be very important to ensure there is plenty of opportunity for pedestrians and consumers to practice social distancing. Looking at the current state of public space and what needs to be modified is an important step in taking the needed action.
5 foot sidewalk space to pass outdoor diners
Need closer to 10-12 foot clearway with social distancing 6 feet guidelines
Multiple Travel traffic Lanes
Convert the travel lane into the parallel parking lane, and make the parallel parking lane into outdoor seating area for nearby restaurants with barrier between diners and moving cars
Parallel Parking Lanes between travel lane and sidewalk
Put Parklets in the parallel parking zone, and have area that is for curbside pickup zone
Parking lots that are under capacity
Use as an outdoor space with social distancing guidelines for restaurants and businesses
Critical Partners to Help Implement Adaptations
Environmental designers will play a major role in the creativity and adaptation needed for modification of outdoor spaces.
Rural Community ConsiderationMany rural communities have main streets that are wide state highways. Colorado rural communities need to collaborate with CDOT and emphasize how important the outdoor space modification solutions are to assist in supporting their local businesses and economies. Collaboration with state representatives and governmental entities will further help in working with CDOT.
Street As Marketplaces PresentationMatthew Bossler’s put together the Street As Marketplaces Presentation with ideas and examples for reopening in outdoor spaces. See the Street As Marketplaces Presentation for the full presentation which includes more info on the topics below..
Steps for Looking at Modification Ideas
Start with a list of obstacles that exist for distancing
For each hindrance, list the possible solutions that can be done at the local level
For each hindrance, list the possible solutions that can be done at the state level
Knowing your organizational structures will help to identify what entity can be your district champion.
See the Street As Marketplaces Presentation for examples.
Make it Attainable: Break it into PhasesPhase 1:- Citywide organization and advocacy- One-page process guidance to businesses -Initial pilots (main street focused)
Phase 2:- Citywide organization and advocacy- Pattern book for each commercial district type - Second-phase pilots (other than main street)
Phase 3:- Application to rest of city; coordination with other cities
See the Street as Marketplaces Presentation for more info
Potential Funding (Source: Matthew Bossler, Street as Marketplaces Presentation)
Seed - CO COVID RELIEF FUND (<$25K) – Next deadline: May 16- Business Improvement District / DDA rainy-day funds- Municipal business assistance grants- Contracts for strategic program development (via commissioners/council/executive decree, etc.)- Impacted businesses (Staff Training, Physical Resources, Insurance extensions, consultant/non-profit support)- Community groups (RNOs, non-profits)- Civic resources (botanic gardens, convention centers, etc.)
Sustenance- Economic Development Authority (EDA)’s CARES Act funding- Economic Recovery Planning and Technical Assistance Grants- State/local govt. recovery and resiliency strategies,- others- Reallocation of funds earmarked for tangential transportation planning and economic development projects- CITY FUNDING- EXECUTIVE BRANCH (PUBLIC HEALTH, DOE, DOTI, CPD, OSE, ETC.)- DEDICATED PUBLIC STAFF HOURS (including police as security?)- DEDICATED PHYSICAL RESOURCES (railings, trash cans, barricades, etc.)
The question we need to ask ourselves for our communities is What can we put in place so that when we get the go -ahead to reopen, we are ready and have the least amount of barriers?
If we can collect some seed money to get this started, where/how do we spend the money to get it going successfully? Reach out to private consultants and nonprofit consultants. They are still open and are dedicated to this work. Show the dedication to the implementation, continue to have conversation, coordination and work with city staff and other community stakeholders. Set a goal for having 2 pilots of the implementation.
How will you handle alcohol in a larger environment; i.e. how to get across sidewalks, into parking lots. Most licenses are restricted to the existing space?We are currently working on this, through the drafting of the letter to send to the governor for the decision to be made at the local level. Continue asking state electives for the needed rapid change or temporary reprieve so that we can help businesses survive. Also look into common consumption areas and entertainment districts and the possibility in expediting the creation of them. Also consider liability packages that could cover multiple businesses in one area.
From a design perspective, it would seem prudent to accommodate greater bicycle travel and bike parking. (Parking spaces will be lost and should be addressed.) These can be done simply as corrals - either roped off or cordoned off in some other manner. The setting should be aesthetically pleasing and easy to get into/through. Other suggestions?For the aesthetics aspect lean onto existing entities such as a parks & recreations department or botanical garden. Reach out to nurseries who could provide planters , hay bales, straw bales and other resources rapidly for creating bike lanes. There is also a cheaper option of buckets with concrete and a post to attach ropes along the bike lane, even though that isn’t as aesthetically pleasing. Pallets can be used to make bike racks. Bicycles play an important role in crowd control and social distancing.
Downtowns are vital, so levelling up the quality of material in the downtown area is something to consider. Other things to consider include if there is a concern about loss of parking from bike lanes, on street dining would cause the same loss of parking.
Another thing to consider is that the use of parallel parking for on street dining takes away the pedestrian buffer that parked cars provide between traveling cars and sitting people. Look at the possibility of pushing the parallel parking lane one lane closer to the center lane.
Any advice on how to approach parklets or one-lane closures on main streets that are also business highways? e.g. Manitou downtown!There is a precedent in Salida and Louisville, Colorado of converting parking into parklets. Neither of them are on highways but there is a precedent which helps. Long term parklets usually range around $25,000 per slot, but that includes the permitting process. The permitting process could possibly be reduced and simplified considering the current circumstances, which requires collaboration and conversation. There may be an opportunity for cheaper parklet solutions as well.
I understand there must be at least 5 feet of sidewalk space for people to pass by outdoor seating? Is that correct?Realistically, with the social distancing guidelines of 6 feet it’s closer to 10-12 feet on both sides of diners since there needs to be space for people passing.
Streets As Marketplaces Presentation
Public Spaces Google Resources Folder
Liquor License Letter to the Governor
May 14th Call Recording
Matthew Bossler, PLA | SHIFT Planning and Design, LLCMatthew’s 15 years of experience in planning, landscape architecture, ecological design, urban design, and public policy synthesize in practice at SHIFT Planning and Design, LLC. The core philosophy of SHIFT is to form planning and design solutions that encourage the evolution of our regions, cities, small areas, and properties within them, in order to better meet both immediate and future needs. At the city scale, Matthew advises decision-makers and guides community groups to form urban planning solutions that set the stage for quality urbanism. At the site scale, Matthew offers property owners, developers, and project partners rapid urban design and development scenario modeling, conceptual site plans and yield studies, as well as complete landscape construction documentation, including everything from urban plazas to naturalized riverfronts.
DCI had our seventh webinar of the series covering various topics on the response to COVID-19 and how people can support each other while maintaining the CDC’s recommendation of social distancing. Thursday’s call focused on the state’s Adaptation Committee with a quick overview of the statewide survey results.
Kate Guibert from the Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) shared adaptation ideas and approaches as the state slowly opens. Michelle Kobayashi from NRC/Polco shared the statewide survey preliminary results, along with support from Reid Aronstein and Daniel Salvetti from the Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT).
Adaptation Tools/ IdeasThe Colorado Resiliency Office (CRO) is continuing to discuss how we adapt, create, and provide resources for communities across Colorado during these unprecedented times. The committee is focused on the reopening phase and how to do that safely. These unprecedented times require creativity, collaboration and willingness to experiment. The experimentation component requires being okay with failure, which provides opportunity for learning and adaptation. Categorizing the various areas that are important in the experimentation stage help with the proposing of new ideas and experimentation.
The focus areas of the Colorado Resiliency Office include::
Resiliency and community recovery program
State and local technical assistance
State investments and grants programs
Metrics and targets
Policy advocacy on federal resilience efforts
Along with the focus areas, looking at the vision of “What we want the other side of this pandemic to look like” is important. Rules and regulations have adapted in response to the pandemic and have provided the opportunity to see what those rule adjustments bring and the possibility of maintaining some of the changes in the post-covid state.
Collaboration and experiences from the local level, especially those from industry and small businesses are necessary throughout the experimentation process which guides response and recovery. The response and recovery process will especially include what tourism will look like at various stages and what as well as how messaging will be conveyed to the public.
Colorado Tourism Office (CTO) Resources for Communications with Public:Wait, Ready, Set, Go! Campaign Webinar CTO Website
Community adaptations are continuing to evolve along with the proposal of new ideas currently. Many are looking at the options for converting downtowns into pedestrian malls and the wide use of large outdoor space to help with social distancing. The proposed adjustments are encouraging discussions on zoning and code changes. Along with public spaces, there is the building of consumer trust and making people feel comfortable enough to come back out and spend money which supports the economy.
The CRO will develop a Community Adaptation Hub to further encourage the statewide collaboration, sharing of ideas, and experimentation.
Colorado Resiliency Powerpoint
Statewide Survey Preliminary ResultsNRC/Polco partnered with Downtown Colorado, Inc. (DCI) and Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) on a statewide business survey. NRC/Polco also distributed a tax entity or BID, DDA, URA Survey and a Business Support Nonprofits survey. The results from these surveys are very helpful in the way that the state and OEDIT can use them to “craft internal solutions that are short, medium and long term.” The surveys provide a baseline understanding of business’ perception and challenges. The surveys were conducted April 9-30, 2020.
NRC/Polco will release full survey results sometime next week.
Business Survey The business survey had 2,391 Respondents and showed that the majority of businesses were not prepared for the covid-19 changing economy, and many businesses can only sustain the economy shutdown for 3 to 6 months.
BID, DDA, URA SurveyThe tax entity survey had 29 Respondents, and the questions aligned to a survey sent out by DOLA, CML, CCI and SDA to counties, municipalities and special districts. The results of this survey were similar to the one sent out by DOLA, CML, CCI, and SDA earlier in April. The taxing entities are most concerned about property and sales tax reductions. They are most concerned about the expenditures of technology and equipment needed for remote work.
Nonprofit SurveysThe business support organizations- nonprofits survey had 86 respondents. Covid is having a major impact on the nonprofits’ event revenue and they are concerned about serious shortages in their 2020 revenue compared to their original budget projections. 16% of the respondents anticipated a 50% reduction in staff by the end of the next 6 months.
See more info in the Statewide Survey Preliminary Powerpoint
Resident Survey Available on Polco now: Resident Survey
If your community did a survey of its own, please follow Polco’s instructions for adding it to their site so your community’s data can be added to the statewide survey results.
Statewide Survey Preliminary Powerpoint
Question + Answers
Is there any sort of statewide response or guidance for local entities to approach requests in adjusting rules and guidelines of liquor licenses and insurance since spaces being used by businesses are changing due to health concerns?At this time there aren’t specific guidelines for that topic, but lobbying and sharing the amount of concerns for that would bring attention to it.
We are hearing that there is a backlog at the state for approving licensed premise changes. Are others hearing that? Has there been an effort to ask for changes to premises to be made at the local level?
It would definitely help to have more guidance on the outdoor liquor licensing issue. Do we need to lobby for changes in the state law?
Collaborating to bring more attention to the issue will be helpful. DCI is reaching out to the Colorado Restaurant Association as well, which will further help in bringing attention to this issue.
We would appreciate state-level, supported guidance on masks. That would assist retailers who feel they don’t have the authority to ask.
Do you feel rural communities were represented enough in the survey? The survey results were done regionally, and there was a good amount of representation from all across the state.
DCI had our sixth webinar of the series covering various topics on the response to COVID-19 and how people can support each other while maintaining the CDC’s recommendation of social distancing. Thursday’s webinar included a presentation from DCI partner, Amanda Peterson, Head of Compliance & Regulatory Affairs for Colorado Lending Source. The call was facilitated by DCI board member, Terri Takata-Smith of Downtown Boulder and her colleague Julia Simpson.
Amanda walked us through the updates and new information regarding the CARES Act 2.0 and some alternative funding resources as presented in the below table.
CARES Act Overview1.0 - Funding was exhausted in 14 days. 2.0 - Additional money allocated towards the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) with a focus on smaller banks lending to small businesses
The Economic Injury Disaster Loan Emergency Advance (EIDL) received additional funding as well.
Watch out for Scams & Frauds- SBA does not initiate contact- Any request of payment up front to get approval of an SBA loan or offers of a high interest bridge loan, suspect fraud
QUESTION + ANSWER
Is there any news on 501c6 organizations and their exclusion from the PPP and EIDL loans?As of now they are still not included in PPP or EIDL loans, but there are organizations advocating for 501c6s. International Downtown Association is fighting to support 501c6s to get them some help.
Is OEDIT going to start any financial support programs?They are reported to be working on it now.
Is there a possibility that the June 30th date will be extended?Entities are advocating for the period to be extended, especially for businesses like restaurants which will have a hard time with the June 30th date. Colorado Lending Source recommends sending a note or putting in a phone call to Colorado Lending Source who can advocate for the extension alongside other businesses behalf.
If an organization does not get PPP in the second round, what should they do for funding?There are emergency relief funds available for region, county and districts, and there are also direct loans available. Communicate with your SBDC.
OEDIT Alternative Funding List
Funding Options List on Colorado Lending Source
Colorado Lending Source Presentation
Matrix of Financial Support
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
Small businesses, Self-employed, 501c3, 501C19, Tribal Businesses during covered period (Feb 15 - Jun 30, 2020)
2.5 times employer’s average monthly payroll costs
Interest Rate - 1.00%
Loan Term - 2 Years
No payments first 6 months
Payroll Costs Defined (Refer to Colorado Lending Source Presentation)
Guidelines for Sole Proprietor or independent contractor (Refer to Colorado Lending Source Presentation)
Not as much guidance on forgiveness right now since the lenders are focusing on getting the money out
Will need to apply for forgiveness and show documents
Economic Injury Disaster Loan Emergency Advance (EIDL)
Can be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other costs
Direct loan from SBA
Not to replace lost sales or profits, refinancing debt, loan payments to other federal agency, tax penalty obligations, repair physical damages, pay dividends to stockholders
Interest rate - 3.75%
Up to $2 million and maturity up to 30 years
PPP borrower can not receive EIDL for same purpose as PPP
Alternative Finance option for small businesses
Crowdfunded online from global lenders and people you know
$1,000 - $10,000
0% interest, no fees
12-36 month term
Monthly payments, 6 month grace period
Loans through Paypal
Any loan purpose, except refinancing existing debt
Business owner requirements: Paypal account, not in bankruptcy, certain number of people in network each lend $25, honest & responsive
About Colorado Lending SourceCelebrating 30 years of lending, Colorado Lending Source cares about small business, creating long-term alliances with our lending partners and borrowers, being a resource to empower entrepreneurs, and making Colorado the best state in the nation to start and grow a business. Colorado Lending Source partners with local lenders, government agencies, and other small business resources to make access to capital more attainable. As a mission-based lender and small business-financing expert, they are committed to fostering the economic growth of diverse small businesses within our communities. Since 1990, they’ve funded over 3,800 loans helping to create nearly 29,000 jobs injecting over $4.7 billion into the economy.
Amanda Peterson,Head of Compliance & Regulatory Affairs, Colorado Lending SourceAmanda Peterson is Colorado Lending Source’s resident expert when it comes to keeping a pulse on Small Business Administration rules and regulations. As Head Compliance & Regulatory Affairs, she provides the necessary tools, knowledge and strategies to support Colorado Lending Source’s mission to foster the economic growth of diverse small businesses within our communities.
DCI had our fifth webinar of the series covering various topics on the response to COVID-19 and how people can support each other while maintaining the CDC’s recommendation of social distancing. Thursday’s webinar included a presentation from DCI partners, Brad Segal, President of Progressive Urban Management Associates (P.U.M.A.) and DCI Board Member, Erin Lyng, Associate Vice President of P.U.M.A..
Brad and Erin walked us through the response and recovery framework P.U.M.A. has put together for communities and organizations to adapt and The call was facilitated by DCI board member, Terri Takata-Smith of Downtown Boulder and her colleague Julia Simpson.
RECOVERY FRAMEWORK OVERVIEWP.U.M.A. is building this framework in conjunction with Downtown Colorado, Inc. with the intention that communities and organizations will customize it and adapt to their needs and metrics. This framework is also meant to be dynamic, as conditions and updates are changing quickly. Nobody knows the exact timeline of the virus and when a vaccine will be available, so this is providing ideas for planning on the possibilities and where we think things are going.
Three Phases to the FrameworkSTABILIZATION - Estimated 3-6 months (we are currently in this phase)RECOVERY - Estimated 3-18 months (moving into this phase slowly)NEW NORMAL - Estimated beyond 18 months
The following matrix shows the various actions and organizational responses considered by phase.
Crisis management, establishing organizational boundaries
Redefine downtown organizational value,
Information + Support, Inventory of businesses/tenants, Locally focused promotions, Interventions + troubleshooting, mobilize support form front line workers and hardest hit populations/sectors, Decision-making tables/advocacy, anticipate permanent closures, keep it clean + safe, Prepare for phased release + activities, Understand market strengths + vulnerabilities
Identify cash reserve, reallocate/postpone expenditures, essential operations + cushion for unknown ahead, Understand federal/state assistance programs, Solidify local partnerships, Reallocate effort/resources to economic stabilization, Relationships, DCI, Local market promotions + visibility
Phased re-opening, use of local + regional markets
Continue information/support/inventory/intervention, Create/strengthen local volunteer platforms, Promotions to lure local + regional markets, Phase in events proportional to confidence in public health, Forge new alliances with property owners + influencers, Test new concepts in vacant storefronts, Mobilize business community to address equity issues, Explore procurement opportunities to support small businesses, Consider new options/flexibility for affordable living options, Create locally-funded recovery investment fund, Strategic planning to set new course, Identify funding as local tax base recovers
Develop longer-term funding strategy/diversify, Expand local market promotions + visibility, Strengthen internal research/advocacy to represent all downtown interests, Create locally-based special events that instill pride and ownership, Strategic planning to align organization with revised vision/plan
Beyond 18 months
STABILIZATIONCrisis management, establishing organizational boundaries
Questions and comments regarding Stage 1 Stabilization
This pandemic has brought about the notion that it might be a good idea to have a public health expert on governing boards.
As was mentioned before, there is an increased need to address equity and inclusion. Any thoughts on a tactical response in Stage 1?
The response will vary depending on geography, for example rural response will look a little different than the urban response. But there also may be a political shift that puts more emphasis on topics of healthcare and wages which this current pandemic has further showcased inequities. Housing is also a big issue which the current state of things may prompt needed changes at a quicker pace than before.
Do you have suggestions or resources on how to best manage change for steps as we move through the framework?
The framework is meant to be adapted to the users’ situation, as well as have the ability to be dynamic. P.U.M.A. encourages framework users to develop their own metrics and own forms of measurement such as the use of their own budget, and understanding of their own bandwidth.
Are there any tactics coming out for Stage 1 responses specific to tourism-reliant communities?
Think of the response more of one that is gradual. As of right now, really hunker down and be reliant on the local residents and the local downtown. Fully use and encourage downtown organizations to be information resources for the community and encourage the continuation of community-mindedness. Look to local community champions as well.
RECOVERY Phased reopening, use of local and regional markets
Questions and comments regarding Stage 2 Recovery
Do you think that there will be a shift from urban/ downtowns lifestyles to a more suburban or rural due to the virus?
There won’t be a significant change. Older demographics are more affected by the current state of things as a life or death situation, as younger generations are in danger but have probability of recovery. Younger demographics want the same things as everyone of connecting with others, having experiences, and enjoy putting disposable income towards music and restaurants, etc. There will most likely be a continued acceleration of people moving out of “superstar” cities because of housing affordability. There may be a possibility of a change in urban apartment design and the need for personal space as being more marketable since with this virus people are spending significantly more time at home.
Do you expect a decline in property tax revenue?
There may be a near-term erosion in value, plan for a 10-15% decline but not a long term trend. This is a very deep disruptive economic episode, but is relatively brief with a timeline of 18 months to 2 years. There will probably be a shift on IF we need a physical location for those who can work remotely.
Locally based events that help instill community pride and ownership, how do you envision these being funded?
By BIDS, property owners, and businesses, as well as local, state, federal, and/or foundation grant sources. The state and federal agencies are working on funding options related to Covid.
Communities that may have funds set aside for events, are coming up with creative ways to adjust and support their local businesses and community. The creativity includes finding ways to bring communities together in new ways, and trying different things.
Travel restrictions, as well as resource concerns, have caused us to localize. Should we pivot from regionalization to localization and how do we try to balance those strategies?
Rural markets are in a reinvention stage and can use this as an opportunity to look at diversification options. This is a time to relook at the assets of towns and counties. There is an opportunity to draw from Colorado resources and more people rediscovering their backyard.
To follow up on the urban/suburban question, you talked about lifestyle. Do you think there will be a shift in where businesses will want to locate their office? Will the need for more square footage drive commercial offices toward the fringes?
More information about our guest speakers:
Brad Segal, President, P.U.M.A.P.U.M.A.’s founder and president, Brad Segal, has extensive experience in downtown management and community development as both a practitioner and consultant. A self-proclaimed “urban therapist,” Brad is one of the nation’s leading authorities on downtown trends and issues, reinventing downtown management organizations and forming business improvement districts to finance them, and pioneering efforts to create healthy communities. Prior to establishing P.U.M.A. in 1993, he designed and managed economic development programs as senior director of the Downtown Denver Partnership.
Erin Lyng, Associate Vice President, P.U.M.A.Erin Lyng manages a variety of projects at P.U.M.A. from adaptive reuse feasibility studies to rural economic development strategies to strategic plans for downtown organizations. Erin also leads P.U.M.A.’s role as the outreach and technical assistance provider for the Colorado Fresh Food Financing Fund (CO4F), a statewide program that funds healthy food retail in underserved communities. Her past experience in nonprofit public relations, communications strategy, advertising and digital media brings unique perspectives to project work at P.U.M.A.
Recovery & Response Framework
DCI had our fourth webinar of the series covering various topics on the response to COVID-19 and how people can support each other while maintaining the CDC’s recommendation of social distancing. Thursday’s webinar included presentations from three DCI partners and members: Kim Woodworth, Operations Director of the Economic Development Council of Colorado (EDCC); Kimberlee Mckee, Executive Director of the Longmont DDA and Chelsea Rosty, Director of Business Innovation for the City of Montrose.
Kim Woodworth shared results and initial lessons from EDCC’s “COVID-19 Municipal and County Business Response and Recovery Survey”, which municipalities from across the state responded to. Kimberlee Mckee discussed Longmont’s COVID-19 Response Plan, and the actions taken by the city and local businesses to galvanize the community during the pandemic. Chelsea Rosty outlined the three-pronged approach that the City of Montrose is utilizing to support business in their community: cooperative marketing grants, a small business emergency loan fund, and a sales tax deferral program for small businesses. which focused on the emergency funding opportunities that are available for businesses during this time of COVID-19.
Kim Woodworth, Economic Development Council of Colorado-Kim Woodworth facilitates the Council’s daily operations, coordinates meetings for the EDCC Board and assists in committee’s work plans, marketing and communications, and event planning and coordination for EDCC’s Drive|Lead|Succeed Conference and bi-yearly Regional Economic Development Forums. Prior to joining the EDCC, Woodworth served as operations manager for the Metro Denver Economic Development Corp. Economic Development Council of Colorado Website
Kimberlee Mckee, Longmont DDA- Kimberlee McKee has been the Executive Director of the Longmont Downtown Development Authority since 2011. Prior to taking this position, she was the President of Downtown Akron Partnership, a Special Improvement District in Akron, Ohio. Through her experience in both a DDA and SID, she has worked with a diverse group of stakeholders and municipal leaders to develop projects, programs and events. Throughout her career she has specialized in strategic programs, marketing and event management. She has been working with the community to implement an Arts and Entertainment District in Longmont and they have been named a Colorado Creative District. Longmont DDA Website
Chelsea Rosty, City of Montrose- In her current role as Director of Business Innovation, Chelsea manages the city’s DART (Development and Revitalization Team) where historic preservation and local business vitality are primary focuses. Through DART, Chelsea handles the administration of the city’s business and workforce housing incentives program. Additionally, Chelsea oversees communication for the city. Chelsea has 13 years’ experience in marketing and community development with an emphasis in community engagement and the outdoor industry. City of Montrose Website
COVID-19 Municipal and County Business Response and Recovery Survey- This survey is based on 40 municipalities and counties in Colorado on their response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The results show that most businesses need flexible funding options rather than traditional loans, and there is still a lot of uncertainty on how long funding will be needed to bridge the COVID-19 induced revenue gap. The most impacted industries in Colorado, so far, are: tourism, retail, small businesses, personal care facilities and primary employers To see the full results of the survey in this link: Survey Results Presentation.
Advance Longmont 2.0 COVID-19 Response- Longmont’s Economic Partner Group is composed of local and regional partners who have worked to coordinate resources on the COVID-19 Business Resource Hub website to help give businesses a single place to find help during the pandemic. Longmont DDA has created slack channels and facebook groups for businesses to communicate directly with each other and share information in the rapidly changing economic landscape. Weekly group virtual meetings with retail, restaurant, breweries, and personal services have been started as well.
Longmont Social Media Campaigns
City of Montrose Cooperative Marketing Grants- Montrose has developed a grant program for groups of two to three local businesses to create a joint marketing initiative. The City is offering $1,000 per approved applicant group toward marketing their business. Cooperative Marketing Grant website
City of Montrose Small Business Emergency Loan Fund- The City of Montrose is able to use funds from their now-defunct Downtown Development Authority’s tax increment financing fund to create a $300,000 loan program that is dedicated to providing small businesses with 0% loans and no repayment for at least 12 months. The loans of up to $5,000 per applicant are designed to assist businesses forced to close by state mandate or who have suffered significant financial loss due to COVID-19. City Montrose COVID-19 Business Resource website
City of Montrose Sales Tax Deferral for Montrose- This program allows businesses with less than $2 million in gross annual sales to have the option to delay city sales tax remittance for a 90-day period. The city estimates this move will keep approximately $3 million in the hands of area business owners who are trying to navigate through this difficult time. Sales Tax Deferment Information website
DCI’s Upcoming Event: Colorado Challenge Summit | April 14, 2020 | 1:30 - 4:30 PM
The Colorado Challenge Community Summit will be online due to the COVID-19 situation. Delegates from all over Colorado who are working to turn challenges to opportunities will convene during this virtual summit. We will gather ideas and feedback to ensure DCI continues to have the resources you need! REGISTER HERE