Holden James // BHS Maroon Tribune // Berthoud, CO // 01/22/2021
Nearly 1 in 6 restaurants are closed either permanently or long-term due to Covid-19, according to a survey done by The National Restaurant Association on September 14 in 2020. That survey was done half a year ago. Covid is still here to stay as the number of cases in Berthoud alone is 709 or 4% of total cases in Larimer County (Larimer.org). With all of these confirmed cases in Berthoud Covid-19 is starting to affect our business and our restaurants.
Larimer County has decided that as of January 4 that they would be moved to a level 3 also known as a level Orange. This decision means that restaurants must operate at 25% of the posted occupancy limit indoors, and not exceed 50 people along with a multitude of other guidelines to follow. Due to these guidelines and the overall economic fall because of Covid, it is easy to see how restaurants could be in trouble during this time.
(Level Orange, Image courtesy of the Colorado Springs Business Journal)
With these trying times, many are wondering how businesses and restaurants are doing in the town of Berthoud as almost every business is a small local establishment. Tim Hardy is a Berthoud board trustee member and a Berthoud business owner himself. According to Hardy, Berthoud and Larimer County are implementing different programs and services to assist the Restaurant and the business of Berthoud. One of these programs that he talked about is the Level Up Program, Larimer County implemented the Level Up Program to allow restaurants to operate at a level yellow instead of the previous enforced orange level. “As long as they follow the rules, then they can have the extra capacity by leveling up.” This change in level is helping restaurants during Covid as they are allowed to operate at a higher capacity and serve more customers than previously restricted.
While talking to Hardy he brought up that Mico Cenia, City Star Brewing, and many more restaurants and businesses have applied and achieved their level-up status. Hopefully, this program would assist them during these times.
Another thing that the county and town of Berthoud are doing to help the different small businesses of Berthoud is giving out loans and money to struggling businesses. “A lot of businesses don’t really want more debt, a lot of businesses are already in debt [...] The town gave some local businesses a minimum of 2,000 up to 10,000 and gave out roughly 60,000 dollars in all.” This amount of money is solely for Berthoud’s business to get back on their feet during Covid.
At the end of the interview, Hardy spoke about what we the people of Berthoud can do to help these local businesses during this time. “Business really relies on their customer base and if there is any time to pay attention to shopping small and local now is the time [...] try and do a curbside meal or have it picked up or delivered, even when courteous at home now is the time. Regardless of your belief system, be courteous and be helpful and thoughtful of each other.”