GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. — Just a few weeks ago, Mesa County was in the Protect Our Neighbors phase, the best phase on the state Coronavirus risk dial.
But now, Mesa County is only one phase away from a stay at home order, and it’s impacting businesses.
“Grocery stores, hardware stores, those are considered essential services so they don’t have to restrict down to 25 percent,” says Jeff Kuhr, the Executive Director of Mesa County Public Health. Businesses who are part of the Five-star certification program can still operate at a 50 percent capacity or have up to 100 people, whichever one is smaller.
“For our local businesses I think it’s very helpful and it allows us a chance to work closely with them, so they are truly implementing to the fullest extent, those safety guidelines,” says Kuhr.
The CEO of the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce says because the holiday season is such a crucial time, the impact that the Coronavirus pandemic has on local businesses could be worse than March.
“This is when a lot of our businesses, particularly our locally owned businesses, generate up to 40 percent of their income… Is during the holiday shopping season,” says Schwenke.
Schwenke says many local businesses have applied to be a part of the Five-star certification program, and those who haven’t, still can.
“Currently the number certified is upwards of 130 businesses out of the roughly 4,000 we have in the county,” says Schwenke. Schwenke also says the best way the local community can support local businesses, is to shop local and stay Covid compliant.
“It’s way too easy to jump online, but our small businesses need you now more than ever,” says Schwenke.