5 Star Variance Protection Program is Window of Opportunity for Local Businesses

Local News


It’s the week for one of the biggest American traditions, and it’s not Thanksgiving, it’s the other American tradition, the holiday shopping season, but it won’t look like it did last year. Diane Schwenke with the Grand Junction Chamber of Commerce says, “The more cases we have, more hospital beds are being filled, the more restrictions we are seeing in the business community in particular.”

Mesa County is now in level red of the Safer at Home Order placing even more restrictions on businesses, but the county already had a plan in July. Mesa County Public Health director, Jeff Kuhr says in a video, “To protect our community, and remain open, we need everyone to come together.”

The health department’s teamed up with the chamber of commerce with a variance protection program supporting local businesses, which is now more important than ever. “80% of the money you spend in a small, local business, stays circulating in the community,” said Schwenke.

When one door closes a window opens, and in this case the closed door is the red level executive health order. But, the open window of opportunity is through the 5 Star Variance Protection Program. “Now, if you’re a 5 star business, you are actually able to stay open more than a normal business would at the levels that we’re at; regardless of whether it’s yellow, orange, red, or purple,” said Schwenke.

You don’t have to be a chamber of commerce member. Any Mesa County business can apply, and the best part is, it’s free. Daine Schwenke says, “Even the smallest businesses support at least 5 non-profits in the community. so, they’re there for you.”

For more information on how to apply to be a 5 star business, click here.

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