Additional funding available for restaurant winter outdoor seating

By Mary Jo Coulehan
Pagosa Springs Area
Chamber of Commerce

The Colorado Outdoor Winter Dining Grant Program assists Colorado-based restaurants that are experiencing financial hardship because of the COVID-19 crisis and state and local regulations limiting the number of customers in indoor spaces. 

Recipients must use the grant funds to purchase items needed to maintain outdoor dining spaces for patrons during colder weather. The maximum amount awarded will be $10,000. In all circumstances, grants from the program will be made only to help pay for limited types of eligible expenses, which include but are not limited to: architectural or design fees, construction materials and contractor fees, tents, heaters and/or heating equipment or expenses related to heating, furniture, lighting, snow removal, safety measures/equipment, cold-weather gear for staff or patrons, and other expenses directly related to your outdoor dining program. 

Projects completed after Aug. 1, projects in process or planned projects that will be completed by Jan. 15 are eligible to apply. Proof of hardship — special priority will be given to businesses that can show a year-over-year revenue loss of more than 40 percent. Any restaurant that can show a loss of 20 percent or more will be considered. Corporate-owned chain locations are not eligible. Franchisees are welcome to apply. 

For grant awardees, half of the funding will be distributed upon notification of the award. Final funding (second half) depends on submission of a photo of the completed space plus receipts for all eligible expenses. The next round of applications opens on Nov. 30 and are due Dec. 11. Interested applicants should go to https://cooutdoordining.org/colorado-winter-outdoor-grants-application/ for the full list of criteria and guidelines. 

Another reminder for our business community, not only for restaurants, is that the Town of Pagosa Springs also has a COVID Relief Fund Program. 

Similar to the state program, local businesses may apply to the Town of Pagosa Springs for reimbursements up to $7,500. The reimbursements include tents, heaters, building adjustments, awnings, or other COVID-related needs such as hand sanitizer, disposable menus, phone apps for menus or online shopping, etc. This is also a reimbursable program, not an advancement program. 

The anticipated deadline for this program is Nov. 30, so time is running short for businesses to file their applications. Go to https://www.pagosasprings.co.gov/ and then click on the Pagosa Springs Coronavirus Relief Fund Program link. 

You must have receipts to back up your application in either of the programs. Don’t leave money on the table. These programs are here to help our business community offset some of the economic hardships that are being incurred in order for your business to stay afloat. Don’t miss your opportunity. 

This story was posted on November 20, 2020.