Love and shop local, while keeping yourself and others safe from COVID

Shop Small & Local

The Toolkit

Winter Activation Ideas for Main Streets & Neighborhoods During COVID19

As COVID19 restrictions and public safety concerns limit indoor activities, restaurants, entertainment, public events, social gatherings and more have turned to the outdoors. This has been a great lifeline during the Spring and Summer but will become challenging during the colder, darker winter months.

Winter Places sent out a call seeking design ideas for quickly implementable, low cost interventions to drive visitors back to Main Street that will encourage them to stay longer and patronize area restaurants and businesses. This design guide is the final product of creative submissions from students, architects, artists, designers and more from across the United States, Canada, Europe and beyond! We hope these can help you bring customers back to your small businesses community and provide a safe social space for you and your neighbors.

How to Make the Most of COVID Winter

Don’t write off the darkest season just yet. Even with colder weather and shorter days, it’s still possible to plan for pandemic-safe outdoor fun.

Paris finds a Sustainable Alternative to the Gas Patio Heater

The BBB recently published its 2020 BBB Scam Tracker Risk Report, focused on the rise of online scams during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Let customers know you are ready to safely serve! Take the COVID-19 Working Safer Pledge and be recognized!

Site Summary:

Visit the Site Here.

You took a giant leap of faith starting your own business, and for that, we celebrate you. Especially as a Black entrepreneur, we get that the odds are stacked against you for reasons far beyond your control, and it's why Hello Alice came to be in the first place. So while celebrating is great, funding and support and guidance is even better, and we're committed to doing that, too. This is a crowdsourced pool of resources to accelerate your growth. Then we hope you come back and share your stories of success at, so we can celebrate you all over again.


Virtual Restaurant and Bar Show

Educational Series: The COVID-19 pandemic is the most devastating crisis the restaurant industry has encountered. After a crushing shutdown and a tenuous summer many restaurateurs are asking, HOW WILL WE SURVIVE THE WINTER? This series aims to help restaurant owners and operators answer that question. Industry experts will dig into operational best practices to give ideas you can implement… IMMEDIATELY

El Paso County COVID-19 Dial Dashboard

Please note, EPC recently transitioned the outbreak report into its data dashboard. Moving forward, outbreak data will be updated weekly on Wednesdays to align with the state.

State of Colorado COVID-19 Dial Dashboard

Colorado’s dial framework standardizes different levels of “openness” at the county level. It is a toll for counties to use to make life during the pandemic more sustainable, allowing us to balance, to the great extent possible, controlling the virus with our social and economic needs.

COVID-19 Dial Explanation

Colorado’s dial framework standardizes different levels of “openness” at the county level. It is a tool for counties to use to make life during the pandemic more sustainable, allowing us to balance, to the greatest extent possible, controlling the virus with our social and economic needs.

COVID Straight Talk is a great website for:​

  • Personalized tips for workers and employees
  • Quick guides
  • Simple hacks

Colorado’s 5 Star Certification Program encourages businesses to implement safety measures beyond what is already required by public health orders and guidelines. It allows participants to operate at the next-lower level of restrictions on Colorado’s COVID-19 dial. The program is completely voluntary and optional.

Learn More at the Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC website for the latest updates and applications.



Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)

Posters must be up with FFCRA through December 31.

Healthy Families and Workplaces Act (HFWA)

  • Must be provided to employees in writing by January 1, 2021
  • Posters with HFWA information must be posted by January 1, 2021

COVID-19 Operations & Safety Policy Template

Created by HR Branches & Gilbertson Law Office

Propane vs. Electric Outdoor Heaters

Article: In a pandemic winter, dinner comes with a side of propane

Four Tips to Help Clients Stay Warm This Winter

Residential tips that can be applied to your small business!

Running your small business is hard enough. Understanding how to abide by the latest public health orders and guidance adds to your workload. Visit this website for the latest planning documents from responding to a COVID-19 occurrence to cleaning and disinfecting. Guidance is provided for industry specific questions as well.

Sales and Use Tax

Restaurants, bars, taverns, and food trucks may apply for a rebate of the County’s 1% sales tax on your taxable sales up to $70,000 in monthly sales from July 2020 to February 2021.

If your municipality is participating in a rebate program, the County will share your application with that municipality.

All that is needed to apply for the rebate is a completed application, W-9, and a copy of your most recent State of Colorado sales tax remittance. Questions regarding the program can be directed to or call (719) 520-6475.

Free Legal Assistance

Volunteer lawyers are available to help small businesses with COVID-19 related legal needs.

6 Ways Small Businesses Can Boost Holiday Sales in 2020 Amid the Pandemic

Unlike most retailers, which see a sales peak over the winter holidays, revenue at Potomac River Running, a chain of 10 specialty running stores in Washington, D.C., and Virginia, is highest during the spring and summer. But this year, coronavirus shutdowns hit the stores hard, with fewer runners training for big races, fewer back-to-school sales, and fewer people out shopping at all.

6 Holiday-Themed Businesses That Adapted During COVID-19

During the holidays, many seasonal businesses help people celebrate. Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, that hasn’t changed thanks to some businesses’ significant pivots.

Small Business Saturday Kits & Promotion

20 Small Business Saturday Promotion Ideas

6 Winter Marketing Ideas to Help Spur Sales This Season and Next

18 Ideas for Marketing a Seasonal Business in the Off-Season

Employer Services


A workforce transformation is happening due to the current health crisis. Business has been disrupted and workforce demand is shifting. Recruiting and hiring practices are changing. Here at the Pikes Peak Workforce Center, we are proud to announce our ROAD TO RECOVERY campaign; programming and services that support both workers and employers in our community.

#UPSKILL2020 is an education campaign to provide FREE virtual training for job seekers, students and workers who need in-demand skills NOW. #UPSKILL2020 provides assessments, eLearning and soft skills training to improve an individual’s competitiveness through short training programs that introduce new skills or enhance existing skills. Check out the website at

#EMPLOYER TOOLKIT is a specialized toolbox full of strategies for EMPLOYERS to hire, recruit, upskill and/or retrain their workers or locate needed services through the Pikes Peak Workforce Center. We can host anything from virtual job fairs to private classrooms to train a group of co-workers within an organization. 

Business Relations Team

Not sure where to start? Connect with them here.

Employee Development Grants

Public health orders change frequently! Please ensure you are checking this website frequently so that your business stays in compliance for the safety of all.

Manitou Made Learning Community

Manitou Made stakeholders, champions, and merchants are learning together with a shared desire to strengthen and empower each other as humans first, small business owners second.

We urge you to explore these elective classes on Human Resiliency, as together we can transform the common mental health narrative from one of illness and disability to one of strength and empowerment. (

El Paso County Restaurant Variance Request Approved

El Paso County Public Health was notified late Saturday night that the restaurant variance request submitted on Monday, May 18 was approved by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE).

El Paso County Public Health Provides Update on Provisions of the Local Restaurant Variance

Recognizing that information is rapidly evolving, El Paso County Public Health is providing an update on the provisions of the local restaurant variance.

Prepare Your Small Business for Winter Weather

Deloitte: Managing supply chain risk and disruption

Coronavirus highlights the need to transform traditional supply chain models

IMD: The five pillars of supply chain resilience

How companies implement resilience in their supply chains

Accenture: Supply chain disruption

Repurposed supply chains of the future must have resilience and responsibility at their heart (information and guidance on risks/challenges, how to respond to disruption, supply chain planning, logistics, and procurement).

IMD: How resilient is your supply chain?

Global value chains under threat

Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE): Temporary Outdoor Structures for Restaurants and Events

Colorado Springs Permits to Expand Outdoor Dining & Liquor License Modification

What's Open In Colorado

For Providers and Community Leaders: Helping People Manage Stress Associated with the COVID-19 Virus Outbreak

Managing Stress Associated with the COVID-19 Virus Outbreak (PDF)

Tips for Adults

Stress First Aid Self Care/Organizational Support Model

When Terrible Things Happen - What You Might Experience

Greater Resilience Information Toolkit (GRIT)

Official Up-to-Date Vaccine Information

Helping Your Company Effectively Telecommute

The Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC has provided a telecommuniting tooklit including info for both employers and employees, from tips to managing teams remotely to ideas for staying focused at home.

Video Gallery

pandemic Stories

Even in the midst of COVID-19, there is growth and innovation in our small businesses and community. Whether it’s a boutique hotel that is still opening, retail and restaurants that have pivoted their business plan or individuals that have found themselves creative and resourceful, we understand we are all in this together. Paired with a local photographer in the area, we know the stories we tell can be told both through words and photography. These photographers represent our start-ups, women owned, LGBTQ owned, vet owned and minority owned. The intersection of photography, stories and community reconnects us with our friends and neighbors as we spring into small businesses!

Garden of the Gods Catering

“Homemade cooking without the mess” is how David Platzer, Executive Chef for Garden of the Gods Catering and the Westside Market describes the flavor of the food. Nestled off of Hwy 24 as the former Garden of the Gods Market and Café – Garden of the Gods Catering and the Westside Market is already making a name for themselves with locals and travelers alike. “Sit with your kids, do the homework, you don’t have to

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Stellina Pizza

Located in the Shooks Run part of downtown, Stellina Pizza serves Roman-style pies known for their hand-stretched, rectangular shape and flavorful dough. Utilizing many of the same fixtures found in during their construction, it has a feel of both nuanced old and brilliant new. Sarah Mishler is the Chief Strategy Officer at Blue Star Restaurant Group which includes Stellina Pizza remakrs, “This building was bought by the owners a couple years ago before we envisioned

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Nina Lee and her husband Rollie Ortiz have been business partners at the beloved 503W in Old Colorado City for seven years. Nina worked events and part time shifts in the restaurant industry since college and after Raleigh received his master’s degree in Hawaii, they decided to plant roots in their native of Colorado. Nina’s mother was working at the bar/restaurant that she owned currently and conveyed to Nina she was ready to move out

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Atrevida Beer Company

Jessica Fierro and Richard Fierro are the kindest of high school sweethearts who own Atrevida Beer Company in central Colorado Springs – a Latina and woman owned business opened since January 2018. Atrevida is a word in Spanish that means a woman that is bold and fearless. January 2018. Prior to owning and brewing at Atrevida, Jessica was a homebrewer and the winner of the national homebrew competition called BEERLAND which aired on VICELAND (the

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Local Honey

Hailey Sardi and Cara McQueney met each other a few years ago at CSU. Just acquaintances at the time, they later met up after graduation and discussed their desire to do something new. Neither of them entrepreneurs but both dreamed of opening a store. The Local Honey retail boutique specializing in women’s fashion was born. A play off of the nutritious benefits that honey has for individuals, Sardi and McQueney wanted to be that dose

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Conrad’s Flava Fusion Food Truck

Conrad Champagne has always had hospitality in his blood before even dreaming up Conrad’s Flava Fusion Food Truck. Decades ago, Champagne moved from Kingston, Jamaica to work at the five star hotel – The Broadmoor. He wanted to build something bigger than he could have in Kingston and decided to venture to Colorado Springs to pursue his dream. At the Broadmoor, he was a server and a well sought after bartender. He left The Broadmoor

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Luchal’s Catering

Luchal Lucas and her husband were stationed in Fort Carson when she fell in love with Colorado Springs but her roots are in Compton, California. “Strait Out of Compton” she laughs as a line of patrons are waiting in the winter temperatures for her signature dishes. With a degree from Auguste Escofier campus, Lucas has always been enticed by the creativity of food. Growing up watching her mother cook was an inspiration but where Lucas

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Bread and Butter

Bread and Butter is a homegrown and eclectic grocery store in downtown Colorado Springs. Owners Stacy Poore and Aubrey Day opened the neighborhood store in September 2019, the quaint yellow stucco building sits south Nevada close to the Trolley District. Adjacent to the grocery store is a full operating liquor store that they own as well. “We both had a long time dream of opening a neighboring store but were on different paths. A mutual

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PikeRide launched in June of 2018 as a program of Downtown Ventures, the charitable nonprofit arm of Downtown Partnership in Colorado Springs . In 2019, PikeRide transitioned to a full fleet of electric-assist bikes. As of January 2020, PikeRide transitioned to operating under its own 501c3 and now operates more than 35 stations and over 250 bikes. The bikes are super simple and easy to use.  One simply opens an app to start a ride,

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Kinship Landing

A year ago, Brooke and Bobby Mikulas with partner Nate Grimm broke ground on a plot of land off South Nevada in downtown Colorado Springs. Before a pandemic was ever something that was spoken about, the team had a vision to build Kinship Landing which is a friendly boutique hotel that connects locals and travelers around city exploration and outdoor adventure. “We have always wanted to provide an experience driven lodging concept without totally tanking

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