PUEBLO, Colo. — The Pueblo Riverwalk, lined with businesses and restaurants, was better served as a dog walk around lunchtime Thursday as several people were seen sauntering past empty patios with their four-legged friends.
Restrictions barring dine-in customers are already affecting businesses, and leaders are worried about the impact that is coming. The Governor announced on Thursday that the dine-in suspension would extend until April 30.
“This is going to be a big economic disaster for the City of Pueblo,” said Mayor Nick Gradisar. “We rely on sales tax and with the economy of the entire world shutting down for who knows how long, it’s going to have a dramatic impact on Pueblo.”
A Pueblo Economy Recovery Team was announced Thursday by the Pueblo Latino Chamber of Commerce to organize resources and help businesses find new ways to keep business flowing.
One business is trying to help ease the load on grocery stores while helping their bottom line as well.
“We’re going to put together grocery packages with fresh meats and vegetables,” said Heather Hart, a manager at 1129 Spirits and Eatery.
Opening just last year, Hart says the packages will help them financially justify keeping employees on, avoid wasting food orders and help their balance sheet.
“It’s been a rough week. People are having a tough time getting food,” said Hart. “Hopefully, help us keep the lights on for the next few weeks and be ready for the tail end of this thing.”
The packages come in a variety of prices with a variety of options, such as a family meal of hamburgers, or steaks, or vegetarian meals. The restaurant is getting them to the customers who prepaid on Friday.
Hart says there is a chance they take a look at keeping the service going as she says the response has been strong from the community.
“Everybody hang in there,” Hart added. “We can get through it together. Working in ways like this, finding solutions for things that are mutually beneficial. The kind of situations where we can help each other through this.”