December 8, 2020

Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC signs onto 5 Star initiative, a statewide program that can save businesses

Colorado Springs, Colo.  – On Dec. 4, the Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC joined a statewide coalition to jointly submit its own business certification program framework to Gov. Polis and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE). The proposal would implement a countywide business certification program in response to a CDPHE framework made public on Nov. 27. The coalition is composed of chambers of commerce, hospitals, businesses, and trade associations. Both frameworks are based on the Mesa County 5 Star program that encourages and rewards businesses for implementing health and safety best practices that ensure customers and employees are protected as much as possible from contracting COVID-19, while allowing businesses to continue to operate and keep workers employed.

Under the coalition’s framework, businesses that are strictly implementing best safety practices will not be subject to restrictions that, under the current dial process, is subject to change every two weeks. Regardless of what level a county is on the statewide dial, certified businesses will be able to stay open.

The coalition’s proposed framework is very similar to what CDPHE is proposing and is also based on Mesa County’s Variance Protection 5 Star Program. However, the coalition’s framework:

  • Allows participating businesses to operate at 50 percent of their normal capacity, up to 175 people, regardless of what level the county is at in the state’s dial framework. This still allows for the required social distancing needed to keep employees and residents safe.  Implementation of the program will be reevaluated for any county at the purple level (stay at home).
  • Allows any county the opportunity to participate without having to go through a lengthy approval with CDPHE, resulting in true local control among the various local partners within each county.

“This statewide initiative could be a lifeline for our small business owners and the people they employ. The state’s own data show that our businesses have been diligent at following public health guidance and will continue to do so in order to keep their employees and customers safe. We are confident that Gov. Polis and the CDPHE will recognize the need to implement this policy to protect livelihoods and keep our economy as strong as possible in the pandemic,” said Rachel Beck, vice president of government affairs, Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC.

See a complete list of Coalition members here.