Letter to the editor: Commissioners back small businesses

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Commissioners back small businesses

I’m proud to see the Douglas County commissioners standing up for small businesses while protecting the safety of our community, knowing that both lives and livelihoods are at stake. They’ve recently demonstrated this by working to allow local restaurants to remain open, and fast-tracking relief funds for restaurants and indoor venue owners struggling financially to survive.

The commissioners recently asked the state government to allow local restaurants to remain open for in-person dining if they meet certain safety requirements, similar to Mesa County’s 5-Star Variance Protection Program that Governor Polis is supporting. If restaurants in Mesa County — which has more COVID cases and less population than Douglas County — can stay open, then we should have a similar program to aid our struggling restaurants, many of which are already meeting the eight requirements in this plan.

Our commissioners are also fast-tracking $15 million in CARES funds for local restaurants and other venues. Instead of waiting for the state to send funds, struggling businesses can get help quickly and directly from Douglas County (which then gets reimbursed by the state). This expedited access to funds increases local businesses’ likelihood of staying afloat.

Local restaurants, along with small businesses in general, are disproportionately burdened by these shutdowns. Sadly, over half of Colorado restaurants aren’t expected to survive these restrictions — damaging economic and social livelihoods, local jobs, and entrepreneurs’ dreams. Working to preserve both lives and livelihoods, like the commissioners are doing, is crucial.

Thank you, Douglas County commissioners for taking this holistic approach.

Dan Shipp

Lone Tree

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