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Coronavirus Business Resources

The city’s Community Vitality Department is working with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC), Boulder Chamber, Boulder Convention & Visitors Bureau, Downtown Boulder Partnership, Latino Chamber of Boulder County, Boulder County and other partner organizations to appreciate, anticipate and appropriately respond to short- and long-term business needs. Information and resources for businesses impacted by the novel coronavirus will be shared here, as they are developed. 

Latest news

Dec. 3 - Thank you, Boulder! The Retail S.O.S. / Bonus Bucks Program to support local retailers has sold out in record time! 
The City of Boulder launched Retail S.O.S. to assist small retail businesses and incentivize local shopping this holiday season, and the program has sold out of available funding in less than one week, and is now over. The Retail S.O.S. program resulted in more than $250,000 of gift card/bonus cards to be used by shoppers at more than 80 participating local Boulder retail businesses! The Retail S.O.S. program provided for the purchase of Boulder e-gift cards, and gift card purchasers received a free $25 Boulder Bonus Bucks card for every $25 spent in purchased Boulder gift cards, up to $100 per person. (Limit of four $25 Boulder Bonus Bucks cards per purchaser). The Retail S.O.S. Boulder Gift Card web portal is now deactivated for gift card purchases as the funding for the matching bonus bucks has run out. Boulder Bonus Bucks cards must be spent at participating retailers by end of day Dec. 30, 2020! Boulder gift cards do not have an expiration date. Please see this page for FAQs or frequently asked questions pdf about the program. The city used allocated federal CARES Act funds to pay for the matching Bonus Bucks cards, valid at participating retailers through Dec. 30, 2020, the deadline CARES Act funds spending. The gift cards purchased do not expire and you can continue to use them at participating retailers.

Nov. 19 Boulder County moves to Level Red: Severe Risk on Colorado's dial framework for COVID-19 effective Friday, Nov. 20 at 5 p.m.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment announced that Boulder County moved to a more restrictive “Level Red: Severe Risk,” effective Friday, Nov. 20, at 5 p.m. This transition from Level Orange: High Risk results in new capacity restrictions in Boulder County for offices, retail, restaurants and a variety of other types of businesses and facilities. Under Level Red, community members should stay home as much as possible, and public and private gatherings are limited to one household. The county must be able to meet and hold certain metrics based on number of new COVID-19 cases, percent positivity and the impact on hospitals in order to move back to less restrictive levels. 

Level Red limits business capacity to: 
•  Restaurants and coffee shops: indoor dining is closed, outdoor dining is allowed for customers in groups of their own household only. Take out and delivery orders allowed. Last call for on-premises alcohol is 8 p.m., 10 p.m. for takeout alcohol. 
•  Gyms:10% capacity or allow up to 10 people per room, with reservations, or outdoors in groups up to 10 people.
•  Offices can operate at 10% capacity, but remote work is strongly encouraged. 
•  Group sports and camps: may operate virtual or outdoors in groups of less than 10
•  Non-critical manufacturing: may operate at 25% or 50 people (whichever is fewer)
•  Personal services and limited health care settings: continue to operate at 25% capacity or 25 people (whichever is fewer)
•  Retail: may operate at 50% capacity with increased curbside pickup and delivery, and dedicated senior/at-risk hours encouraged.
•  Indoor unseated and seated events/entertainment: closed. Outdoor unseated and seated events limited to 25% or 75 people with space calculator, attended only with members of your own household and 6 ft. between groups.
•  Outdoor guided services and entertainment: may operate at 25% capacity or 10 people (whichever is fewer) 
•  Places of worship: may operate under the Level Orange levels
•  Individual real estate showings are allowed, but open houses are prohibited

Nov. 12 - City launches Restaurant S.O.S. (Safe Ordering Service) helping Boulderites support local restaurants and enjoy food safer at home  
The City of Boulder launched a program to assist local restaurants and incentivize residents to support their favorite restaurants with delivery meals to enjoy food safer at home. The program, called Restaurant S.O.S. (Safe Ordering Service), is structured to have the city pay the restaurant portion of third-party delivery fees and contracting with Nosh Boulder for a maximum cap of 15% fees. The city will use a portion of allocated federal CARES Act funding to pay the restaurant’s portion of the delivery fees, allowing local restaurants to retain more of the operating cost and profit for delivered meals. The program runs from Nov. 12 through Dec. 30, 2020. For more information about Nosh Boulder, please visit their webpage, For more program details for both restaurants and for the general public, please visit our frequently asked questions (FAQs) in both English pdf English and in Spanish pdf. Restaurants can sign up with Nosh Boulder on their restaurant sign-up form. The Nosh Boulder app is available in the Apple App Store and in the Google Play Store.

State of Colorado Public Health Order 20-36 - COVID-19 dial
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) released a new public health order on Nov. 2, 2020 with streamlined guidance and clarification on the dial framework. The new public health order is similar to past orders, but integrates Protect Our Neighbors, Safer at Home, and Stay at Home orders together, and it makes a series of technical updates requested by stakeholders. Learn more on this updated capacity chart for all 5 levels. View Boulder County's Dial Framework Tracking.

State Winter Outdoor Grant Program application process for restaurants is now open: Governor Jared Polis, in partnership with the Colorado Restaurant Association (CRA), the Colorado Restaurant Foundation, and Xcel Energy, announced that applications are open for the  Winter Outdoor Grant Program, which will provide funds to restaurants to winterize patio space for outdoor  dining .

Boulder Business Recovery Program announces winter outdoor expansion enhancements through February 2021 -- applications are open!
The City of Boulder recognizes COVID-19’s significant impact on local businesses. In response to the pandemic, the city created the Boulder Business Recovery Program, enabling  businesses  to expand outside to help offset capacity limits put in place under the state’s  Safer at Home  order. The latest version of this citywide program aims to help businesses stay open this winter by enhancing the outdoor expansion through Feb. 28, 2021. The winter extension makes room for temporary structures and heating elements to make being outdoors more comfortable when the temperature drops. Visit the  Boulder Business Recovery  webpage for the application,  the map  of locations already participating  Frequently Asked Questions  and more information. 

Sector-by-Sector guidance for businesses from the State of Colorado:  guidance-by-sector

Boulder Business Recovery Program : Curbside Pick-Up Zone Program
As part of its efforts to support local businesses recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Boulder is offering a Curbside Pick-Up Zone program, which will operate through Feb. 28, 2021, a date which may be extended. The program converts some existing loading zones and other parking spaces in downtown Boulder and on University Hill for general curbside pick-up use. The program also provides an online application for new curbside pick-up zones for businesses that are not in the vicinity of an existing zone. These curbside pick-up zones will be free of charge for 10 minutes to provide patrons and services enough time to pick-up orders, and will be clearly signed in English and Spanish.

Keeping Your Business Together in a Crisis, a free webinar series offered by the Boulder Small Business Development Center, provides information, ideas, and tools businesses can use to become stronger and more resilient. Full series is available on the Boulder SBDC website .

Working under Boulder County Public Health orders

Visit Boulder County's COVID-19 business resources website for guidance on reopening, including specific checklists for business sectors. View Boulder County's Dial Framework Tracking.

Required signage

Businesses must have a "Mask Required to Enter" or "Do Not Enter Without a Mask" sign on the door (retail, restaurants, personal services, offices, manufacturing, limited healthcare, etc.). Colorado "Mask Required to Enter" sign (8.5" x 11") in blue, in red, (in Spanish) Letrero de tapabocas obligatorios (8.5 x 11) Azul | Rojo

Signage for businesses to post in Safer at Home phase

All signs can be printed at 8.5” x 11.”  Included in these signs is a “We Are Open” sign that lets others know you are complying with the Boulder County and State of Colorado requirements for “Safer at Home.” Please do a self-check using  Boulder County's checklists for businesses  and display a sign in your window.

Additional resources and information

  • For many resources for individuals and families, please visit the tab at the top of this page, called "Resources," under the Coronavirus image block. The City of Boulder is carefully tracking the needs of our community members relating to impacts from the COVID-19 coronavirus. This work is occurring in close coordination with Boulder County and the many community partners that provide services meeting the basic needs of the community. The link below, "COVID-19 Basic Needs Services Guide," is a summary of programs provided by the City of Boulder, Boulder County and key community partner agencies. Note that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Department has determined that the use of COVID-19 public resources will not be counted against immigrants who are subject to “public charge” grounds of inadmissibility when applying for Green Cards.
  • Access the COVID-19 Basic Needs Services Guide pdf.   Updated 3/20/2020
  • Access to temporary job opportunities - Connecting Colorado webpage.
  • OnwardCO: One-stop resource for the people of Colorado impacted by job loss during the COVID-19 pandemic