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City of Boulder Launches Boulder Business Recovery Program

The City of Boulder recognizes the significant impact of COVID-19 on the local restaurant community.

To support local restaurants and simplify the process of reopening, the city has established the Boulder Business Recovery Temporary Outdoor Expansion Program.

This program streamlines the permitting process for restaurants to expand outdoor seating areas on public and private property. The intent of the program is to support health and safety, while reopening dine-in service under the state’s new Safer at Home restaurant guidelines.

During their May 19, 2020 meeting, Boulder City Council considered several efforts aimed at reducing reopening challenges faced by local restaurants. These include:  

  • Waived minimum parking requirements
  • Outdoor seating expansion options
  • Curbside pick-up and delivery options
  • Expedited processing for applications
  • Waived application fees
  • Potential for street closures to accommodate expanded outdoor seating. Street locations continue to be considered. Updates will be posted to the city’s COVID-19 Business Resources page.

Today at 3:30 p.m., the city, in partnership with the Boulder Chamber is hosting a webinar about the application process. This session will include information about liquor licensing for outdoor spaces and guidance on compliant seating plans. A recording of the webinar will be posted to the city’s COVID-19 Business Resources page for those that are unable to attend.

Development of the city’s response benefited from input provided by Boulder County Public Health, Boulder Business Response and Recovery Alliance partners and local representatives of the Colorado Restaurant Association. Under this recovery effort, restaurants may seek to temporarily expand application of their alcohol licensure, extend seating areas into private property or the public right of way from the date of permit approval until Sept. 30, 2020, a date which may be extended. 

 “These first phase recovery actions are directly responsive to the needs expressed by the restaurant industry and their workers, a valued segment of Boulder’s business community” said Mary Ann Weideman, interim director of the city’s Planning & Development Services Department. “It also reflects the importance of our continued focus on community health and safety during the evolving pandemic.” 

For more information, criteria and the program application, visit For the latest city response to COVID-19, including business resources, visit  

Published: May 26, 2020 

Media Contacts:  

Julie Causa, Media Relations, 719-396-1733 
Charles Ferro, Development Review Manager, 303-441-4012