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The Chaffee County Small Business Coalition, Chaffee County, town administrators and the Chaffee County Community Foundation have teamed up to deliver no-cost solutions and grants to the local foodservice industry and small businesses. The foodservice industry will be given priority, yet all eligible Chaffee County small businesses are welcome to apply.

“Menu offerings” follow. Buena Vista and Salida Chambers, Salida Business Alliance or Central Mountain SBDC can answer questions and/or offer support as needed. Call 719-221-0374.

Chaffee County Community Foundation Grant

This grant, up to $5,000, is funded through the CARES Act Funding for municipalities and allocated by the Board of Chaffee County Commissioners. You will need to show losses due to 50 percent occupancy rulings and/or reduced winter sales attributed to COVID-19. This grant is managed and dispersed by the Chaffee County Community Foundation. You must be a small business in good standing with Chaffee County Public Health Department.

Sustainable ideas for your grant dollars – air purifiers & outdoor heaters

As part of the above CCCF grant you may choose to purchase outdoor heaters and air purifiers with a HEPA filter, based on availability.

The heaters can be used outside (following Public Health social distancing guidelines) to stage or queue those waiting to be seated in your restaurant, enter your establishment, waiting for “to go” orders or dining outside.

HEPA air purifiers or ionization unit air purifiers offer benefits inside your location to assist with the risk of COVID-19 exposure (facemasks, social distancing and washing of hands often must be used as well to combat the risk of infection).

Local businessman Chris Martin at NetZero can assist you with ionization units (he installed them at the BV school district). You can reach him via phone at 719-239-0023 or email Be sure to get HEPA filters or reach out to Chris to choose the appropriate size for the area square footage.

No-cost solutions available for foodservice industry businesses in Chaffee County – A Small Business Coalition member will also be calling you to assist with your requests. For support call 719-221-0374.

Designated “Pickup/Takeout Only” or outside queueing and town parking spaces

The Towns of Buena Vista, Poncha Springs and City of Salida are making available the use of parking spaces via a COVID-19 special use permit. A Coalition support member will coordinate with you to assist with the permit requests. Please contact individual municipalities if you are interested in participating or getting more information. Approved parking spaces may be used for “pickup/takeout parking” and/or queueing wait lines or seating customers with heaters.

Free foodservice industry web page listing

In order to promote all of the offerings of countywide restaurants, Monarch Mountain is funding a new web page.

The goal is to assist tourists, along with community members, to find local restaurants, understand their offerings, and access their hours of operation in one place.  The website will be hosted and promoted by the Chaffee County Visitors Bureau.

How this works: The website will live on and will list restaurant information as noted:

1) Location: Restaurants will be sorted by location (Salida, Buena Vista, Poncha Springs, Nathrop)

2) Basic Content For Each Listing: Restaurant name (with link to individual websites), a brief description of cuisine offerings, hours of operation, location with directions link to Google maps and hot buttons including pickup, delivery, curbside pickup, online ordering, and reservations.

3) Chaffee County Visitors Bureau will cross-promote on their social media channels and feature restaurants specials, scratch kitchen offerings, etc. You can request your specials to be featured to help drive more business (submission forms will be released soon).

Restaurant website information for all lodging and other small businesses wishing to support this program

When it comes to supporting lodging, one must have an assortment of dining options for visitors and traveling family members. This also applies to outdoor industries still promoting outdoor recreation such as Monarch Mountain. This program was designed to feature and sustain restaurants that are operating at 50 percent capacity and lodging, retailers, and tourism entities.

We will do this by offering:

1) A one-sheet info piece with a QR code and the link to the Foodservice webpage to be given out or posted in supporting locations.

2) Lodging venues will also be supplied with semi-permanent posters/self-standing signage with QR code and webpage links.

3) The county, towns, and the CCSBC members will also share this website link with local community members concerned about the risk of exposure by dining in at local restaurants. This easy, convenient website will allow locals to order online or call in orders and schedule pickup times.

CCSBC free consultants to work 1:1 with foodservice entities on:

1) Pivoting to Take-Out; Pickup and Delivery.

2) Pivoting to Grocery Products & Online Ordering.

3) Long Term Pivots (to address food delivery safely at a distance in the year(s) to come).

4) Expand Beyond Tourism (year-round solutions to address community food needs)

5) Menu Innovation & Optimization.

6) Delivery with Collaborative Restaurants.

7) Facebook or YouTube Live food demonstrations, community engagement, and safer at home engagement opportunities.

8) Creating Special Emotional Connections with your customers solving their problems besides delivery – Zoom baking sessions, shared stories & video shorts.

9) How to Lean into Digital – setup, crowdsourcing, online ordering systems, just in time seating, Tock, and other online ordering platforms.

Why foodservice industries have priority on these programs

In order to have a sustainable small business community ecosystem, the community needs as many as possible small businesses to survive and ultimately thrive during the pandemic and economic downturn. The foodservice sector has been one of the hardest-hit industries due to an imposed 50 percent occupancy rate.

Our restaurants’ survival supports the sustainability and survival of our lodging, retailers, and tourism-based businesses. Lastly, locals really enjoy the cuisine choices!

Locally, the Small Business Coalition is also offering sales support via free online workshops on Etsy, Shopify, Marketing in a Socially Distant Holiday Season, and Google. All small businesses are also offered free confidential consulting services and support to access grants, loans, and other funding services. Local Chambers offer additional business member support and services. Click below for more info.

The Chaffee County Small Business Coalition was formed with the goal to focus on COVID-19 recovery efforts for small businesses in Chaffee County. The Coalition includes representatives from the Central Mountain Small Business Development Center (SBDC), Salida Chamber of Commerce, Buena Vista Chamber of Commerce, Salida Business Alliance (SBA), and Chaffee County Economic Development.