Polis working to help small businesses amid pandemic

Colorado News

Colorado Governor Jared Polis makes a point during a news conference on the state’s efforts against the new coronavirus Tuesday, July 21, 2020, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

DENVER, Colo. — Governor Polis took action today in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Colorado’s restaurants, bars, and food trucks are among the small businesses that have been hit the hardest by the pandemic. We all want to keep these businesses open as a vital part of our lives and culture, which is why I’m proud to be working with a group of bipartisan legislators to provide much needed tax relief,” said Governor Jared Polis. “This is the kind of collaboration and cooperation that we need during this challenging time and can serve as an example to other states about how together we can swiftly respond to this the economic consequences of the pandemic.”

In consultation with a bi-partisan group of legislators, Governor Polis signed an Executive Order today that extends the state sales tax payment deadline for 30 days for the month of November for restaurants, bars and food trucks for up to $2,000, in recognition that these businesses have been some of the hardest hit by the pandemic.  

The intent of the Executive Order is to give advance notice to bars and restaurants now about extending the November collections deadline, ahead of the special legislative session, when the General Assembly will take up legislation to allow bars and restaurants to retain up to $2,000 per month in sales tax for the months of November through February to help keep their doors open during the challenging winter months.

“Many of our restaurants and bars are struggling to survive and most cannot offer outdoor seating during winter,” said Rep. Kevin Van Winkle. “We should provide tax relief and allow them to keep their state sales tax collections, in addition to providing other assistance, as a lifeline to help them get through winter.”

“COVID has hit taverns and restaurants especially hard and we need to find every opportunity for relief that we can, which is why last year I sponsored the bill allowing to-go sales of alcohol,” said Sen. Jeff Bridges. “Allowing these folks to keep the state sales tax they collect won’t eliminate all of their burdens, but it will help to keep more Coloradans employed and lessen the load on those who have invested their lives and livelihoods into these critical Colorado small businesses.”

“This pandemic has taken a toll on every business in our state, but none have been harder hit than restaurants and bars that rely on indoor dining,” said Rep. Alex Valdez. “Many will not make it through the winter unless we provide emergency assistance by allowing them to keep their state sales tax collections through the winter months.”

“Restaurants and bars have been hard hit by the pandemic. And while the capacity limitations they are complying with help combat the pandemic, we need to throw them a lifeline so as many come out the other side as possible,” said Rep. Leslie Herod. “This is one small step, but when paired with other measures we are planning to take up during the special session, this will provide some relief. We cannot wait for Washington to act. Colorado needs relief now.”

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