GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. — As the seasons change and temperatures drop, local restaurants are looking for ways to keep their businesses afloat. Currently, restaurants can only be open at a 50 percent capacity. But some restaurant owners say with the 6 feet social distancing guidelines, the number of diners that can fit in their restaurants are actually less than that 50 percent. So during these tumultuous times, outdoor dining has played a critical role for many of the businesses. But with fall around the corner, restaurant owners and managers know it will soon be too cold for customers to sit outside to enjoy their meals.
But the Grand Junction Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Diane Schwenke says business owners won’t be left high and dry, because the state of Colorado has some plans in the works to help small businesses.
Schwenke says the state of Colorado is working to give funding to the restaurant industry for things like tents and outdoor heaters so people can continue to dine outside. Mesa County was also approved for the Protect your Neighbors variance. This means that if Covid infection numbers stay low, restaurants will be able to open at a larger capacity. The capacity allowed at businesses will grow by 5% every 4 weeks that Covid numbers stay below manageable levels.