The Colorado Restaurant Association is accepting applications for the second round of the Winter Outdoor Grant Program, an emergency assistance program launched at the beginning of November to provide funding to restaurants affected by the COVID-19 crisis.
Through Dec. 11, Colorado-based restaurants can apply for grants of up to $10,000 to adapt patio space for continued outdoor dining per local regulations, according to a Tuesday email from the association.
On Nov. 20, Boulder County moved to Level Red: Safer at Home on the state's COVID dial, ordering restaurants to close indoor dining, and limiting outdoor dining to groups from the same household.
To be eligible for grants, restaurants must be independently owned and applicants must show proof of financial hardship because of the pandemic with a year over year loss revenue loss of more than 20%, according to the email.
The grant program was established with $500,000 in seed money provided by Xcel Energy Foundation and Xcel Energy, as well as other partners actively raising funds to help restaurants across the state, said Danielle Oliveto, Gov. Jared Polis’ deputy chief of staff, during a Nov. 3 virtual call between Polis and more than 280 Colorado restaurant owners.
The idea for the program was sparked by a design workshop in mid-October that brought together architects, engineers and building code managers from across the state to brainstorm ideas for outdoor dining designs for restaurants to consider for the winter time, according to Oliveto.
“We had folks from (the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment), folks from our local public health dept on the phone to really talk through what scenarios would work for different people from around the state,” she said, adding restaurant owners are encouraged to consider any of the nine design concepts that emerged from the workshop as ideas to adapt outdoor spaces.
All businesses that applied to the first round of the grant and did not receive funding will be automatically moved to round two and need not resubmit an application, per the website.
The application period for round two will close on Dec. 11 and funds are scheduled to be disbursed on Dec. 21.
“I’m very excited about the program to help you get outdoors, outside is much safer,” Polis said during the Nov. 3 call. “It’s part of Colorado’s success over summer, part of helping keep restaurants afloat, part of keeping people healthier.”To apply for the grant, click here. For additional resources and information on ways to winterize outdoor spaces, click here.