'Doing My Part Colorado': Springs business making changes to stay afloat during 30-day closure

Published: Mar. 17, 2020 at 6:43 AM MDT
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The total shutdown of state dining rooms, theaters, gyms, casinos and more isn't just a new reality for patrons -- it's uncharted territory for businesses.

Gov. Jared Polis' closure order goes into effect at 8 a.m. Tuesday and will continue for 30 days.

"While testing is important, we can't wait on that. We need to act to flatten the curve and we need to be realistic," he said in a news conference Monday when announcing the decision.

Locally-owned shops tell 11 News they'll be changing their business models in order to stay afloat for the next month. Polis' order still allows for restaurants and breweries to offer delivery, drive-thru and take-out services; people are just not allowed to eat inside.

11 News reporter Jenna Middaugh spoke with downtown staple Poor Richard's prior to Polis' order, but even then, the restaurant, cafe and toy store said it was making changes in case a local or statewide shutdown was to happen.

"On Wednesday, we start a partnership with DoorDash for home delivery. We’re also looking at our own staff delivering bulk orders of soups or products, if you will, to homes at a no-contact curbside delivery," said Marketing Director Laszlo Palos.

He explained what that would look like.

"In the back, we have set up part of our parking lot for an actual pickup, a no-contact pickup location, and so we would have customers call in, and they can buy books, they can buy games, puzzles, bulk food orders. We’ll give them a code. It’s all paid for with credit card over the phone and any gratuity if they want to do that, and then we basically go out and talk with them from a distance, get that code from them, give them what they purchased. So we’re just trying to limit the contact, protecting customers, staff, the whole state."

Palos said Poor Richard's wanted to do what they could to keep lift people's spirits during this unprecedented time in our country's modern history.

"Potentially, people will be locked down at home for a long period of time, maybe a month, and we want to be able to get them their games, their puzzles, their books, things so that they can participate, enjoy each other as a family."

He also said he wanted to make sure his employees were taken care of.

"The primary one is to employ the 54 people that are here," he said when asked by Middaugh why it was so important to find workarounds during the outbreak. "We care about them. They are our family, and then also to keep the economy going. As many people that support us, support other businesses. We want to keep that fluid and keep it moving, and also be flexible to change."

Palos expressed confidence in Coloradans ability to get through this time.

"We will get through this and eventually, we’ll get back to business, and if there are any layoffs, we’ll bring those individuals back, and these new business models perhaps will even help us more than before the virus," he said. "As a nation, as a world, we’re looking at a different environment, and we’ll need to adapt. But we’ll survive, and we move forward."

Join the conversation on our 11 News Facebook page. Tell us how you're supporting your favorite local businesses over the next few weeks by commenting on the below Facebook post. If viewing on our app, click "Additional Content Available."

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Posted by KKTV 11 News on Tuesday, March 17, 2020