El Paso County Public Health and partners clarify public health order for retail businesses

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COLORADO SPRINGS — Like many retail shops, Sparrow Hawk Gourmet Cookware is trying to push through the COVID-19 crisis.

“I think small businesses of every kind are trying to adapt to the situation,” Sparrow Hawk President Sam Eppley said.

Eppley said sales have taken a hit and most of their workforce are laid off.

“Whenever you’re told you have to be closed that’s hard for us retailers,” Eppley said.

Their doors may be closed, but they are still open for business thanks to the El Paso County Public Health, the Colorado Springs Downtown Partnership, the Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC, and city and county staff.

Together these agencies were able to clarify that retail businesses may take customer orders made online or by phone through curbside pickup or delivery.

The guidance states any business that isn’t considered critical, is required to close down in-person work but can carry out minimum basic operations.

The guidance was issued on April 16th and is specific to El Paso County. It’s not a special allowance, nor is it a change to the current PHO.

The Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC says on average, small businesses only have 27 days of working capital on-hand.

“They are running out of savings and they are running out of lines of credit, they need to go back to work,” Vice President of Government Affairs of the Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC Rachel Beck said. “This is a way that we hope they can survive the last days, weeks until we can return to doing the new normal of doing business.”

Sparrow Hawk has been operating under curbside pick up. Their inventory is available online and staff can talk to customers and place their order over the phone, employees will have their orders ready to go, for pick-up.

“We are still here and trying very hard to service your needs and we will well do whatever it takes to help you,” Eppley said. “But we are limited. So we have to be creative.”

If you’re a business owner, the Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC has resources available for you on their website.

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