Local business owners excited about increase in business under Level Blue
With more than two weeks under the new Level Blue restrictions in Moffat County, some local business owners are starting to see the light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel, and are excited to move closer to a sense of normalcy.
The move to Level Blue on Feb. 5 means that restaurants can open up at 50% capacity, or 175 people, with a calculator allowing that number to jump up to 225 people. The 50% capacity also applies to non-critical manufacturing, offices, gyms, retail, among others. Additionally, Level Blue on the COVID dial allows people to congregate together in groups of 10 that come from two households or less, and moves last call in local establishments to 12 a.m., up from 10 p.m.
Moffat County is one of only two counties in Northwest Colorado to be in Level Blue as of Thursday, Feb. 18, , with Jackson County being the other one. Routt and Rio Blanco counties are not in Level Blue as Routt County is two levels below in Level Orange and Rio Blanco is one level below in Level Yellow .
Despite most businesses in Craig not applying for the 5 Star Program, the move up to Level Blue has seen an increase in business.
The increase in business is noticeable to many, including Carelli’s owner Brett Etzler, which should help as the calendar moves closer to spring and summer months.
“I think we see a few more people starting to come out,” Etzler said. “We are busier now, more space is opening up, got a few more tables out into the rotation and I think people are starting to come out more.”
The transition to Level Blue has been exciting and visible to Karen Brown, the executive director of the Community Budget Center.
“I think it’s great. It helps, I think people are more apt to come out and shop. I think it’s a good thing. Everybody is feeling good about it,” Brown said. “I think it relieves fears.”
The fact that the county has gone to Level Blue has not affected the Community Budget Center as much as it has other businesses, Brown said.
“I mean it’s hard to tell what kind of effects it has had because it’s just the slow time of year. It’s always slow, but people are coming out more, I think,” Brown said. “So, that’s been a good thing.”
The desperate want for a return to normalcy is what Moffat County being in Level Blue does for Stylz Hair Salon and it’s owner, Shey Ellis.
“It makes us one step closer to being back to normalcy,” Ellis said.
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A decrease in commuting since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic didn’t slow down business for Precision Auto Service. In fact, the shop was busier than before, and business hasn’t slowed down yet.