The Grand Valley’s surge in COVID-19 instances is as soon as once more straining native companies.
Mesa County imposed additional well being restrictions this week that took impact Saturday. However, if the development of constructive instances continues, then a stay-at-home order just like the one applied at the beginning of the pandemic remains to be on the desk. That has native enterprise leaders and homeowners apprehensive.
“I count on some companies to die, sadly. And that makes me actually annoyed. They’ve labored actually arduous to remain open,” mentioned Diane Schwenke, president and CEO of the Grand Junction Space Chamber of Commerce. “They’re your folks and neighbors. They want you to put on your rattling masks and do the suitable factor. They may lose their enterprise.”
Below the brand new degree, all indoor capability for companies is capped at 25%. Any companies which have acquired a 5 star score from the Variance Safety Program, a collaboration between the chamber and Mesa County Public Well being, can decide to have capability set to 50%. These companies will even be checked on extra often to make sure they’re following protocols, Schwenke mentioned. If the state strikes right into a stay-at-home order, Schwenke mentioned, it’s doable that five-star companies obtain exemption from that order and the chamber is hopeful that’s the case.
Schwenke anticipates that the companies that can be damage most by the brand new restrictions are retailers, occasion planners, venues, and any enterprise that depends on foot site visitors.
A few of these companies can be spared sure restrictions, although.
Shane Allerheiligen, proprietor of A Robin’s Nest of Antiques & Treasures, 602 Foremost St., isn’t apprehensive about how the brand new restrictions will affect his enterprise.
The shop is about 21,000 sq. toes, he mentioned, which makes social distancing simpler. Robin’s Nest additionally makes use of an air sanitation system from ActivePure know-how, which claims its system can kill most, if not all, traces of COVID-19 on a floor in seven hours.
And if the state strikes to a stay-at-home order, Robin’s Nest could be unaffected, Allerheiligen mentioned.
“We now have a federal firearms license, so we’re thought-about an important enterprise,” he mentioned. “Thank God for the Second Modification.”
Different companies, particularly eating places, gained’t be as fortunate.
The previous two weeks have been devastating for MX Tapas Bar Restaurante, 546 Foremost St.
Supervisor Shayna Livingston mentioned that enterprise in that timeframe has dropped between 50-75%. Since MX doesn’t have a patio, the 25% capability may additional stifle earnings.
“Every little thing has dropped. Ideas, gross sales, and I don’t see a variety of our regulars anymore. We do on-line ordering however that doesn’t cowl it in any respect,” Livingston mentioned. “It’s irritating. I perceive persons are nervous however all of this comes again on us, the eating places. Please put on your masks to maintain numbers down and please store regionally.”
To assist companies reminiscent of MX, the chamber is working with the Enterprise Incubator Middle to extend funding for help grants.
On Wednesday, Grand Junction Metropolis Council approved the Incubator to distribute as much as $300,000 of grant funding, based on a Friday Chamber information launch. That is just like the Incubator’s final spherical of grant funding that expired on Oct. 30.
Companies that acquired that funding are eligible to use for this spherical, too. The max award is $7,500.
Initiatives reminiscent of this funding might help companies keep afloat, however Schwenke mentioned it’s crucial the neighborhood does its half, too. “At this level, we’re in neighborhood unfold,” she mentioned. “By not carrying your masks, you’re placing companies and their staff in danger.”