DENVER — Gov. Jared Polis held a press conference Tuesday to update Coloradans on the state’s coronavirus response.
“Now is not the time to let our guard down and this pandemic is far from over. We have to do a better job of wearing masks, social distancing, and washing our hands,” said Governor Jared Polis.
The Governor pointed out that Colorado’s small businesses are performing slightly better than national averages on key metrics, including:
- Making payments like rent, payroll, utilities, and loans
- Number of employee hours worked
- Number of employees retained
Polis adding, “Colorado is seeing a slow, but steady rise in cases and hospitalizations. We are not seeing the same scenarios in other states like Texas and Florida, but here in Colorado, we are only as good as our ability to take the necessary measures to protect ourselves and others. Drastic changes can occur in only a matter of weeks, which is why we need to remain vigilant. Masks continue to be our ticket to more economic growth and freedom.”
Colorado’s unemployment rate, while still unacceptably high, remains three points lower than the national average. Governor Polis highlighted the Paycheck Protection Program and the $129 billion available for small businesses that need aid. Businesses can apply until August 8, and can visit choosecolorado.com for more details.
The Governor also highlighted all the work done by the General Assembly during the 2020 legislative session, much of the legislation focusing on supporting Coloradans during the COVID-19 pandemic. These bills included direct housing assistance, help with utility bills, loans, and grants for small businesses, assistance for those struggling with behavioral health issues and domestic violence, paid sick leave, and more.
In addition, the Governor highlighted legislation extending and funding the reinsurance program for five more years to save people money on health care, legislation to refer a tobacco and vaping tax to the ballot to help schools during this challenging time, and provide free preschool to every child who wants it in Colorado, legislation to preserve and protect the air we breathe, and the bipartisan legislation to reform policing in Colorado communities. The Governor thanked the legislature’s Joint Budget Committee who had the difficult task of balancing one of the most challenging budgets in state history.