Colorado’s economy is about to restart — slowly — but will customers follow? |

Colorado’s economy is about to restart — slowly — but will customers follow?

Jennifer Brown and Kevin Simpson, The Colorado Sun

Whenever Sadie Russo finally reboots her French bakery in Arvada and her café and dessert bar in Denver, she’ll remove some tables to allow for social distancing. She and her employees will wear gloves and masks, even though she hates concealing her favorite confection — smiles.

Another life-saving strategy learned from the coronavirus shutdown not only saved her businesses from ruin, but also will spill over as life gradually veers back toward normal: flexibility. 

“If we’d continued with the status quo,” Russo says, “we would have been locking doors on two small businesses.”

At bars, restaurants, gyms, nail salons and retails businesses across Colorado, the gradual easing of Gov. Jared Polis’ stay-at-home order, starting next week, means reimagining their operations in a new environment. Social distancing and other safety measures, plus reduced hours or scaled-back availability, will continue to challenge commerce as the state takes its first, cautious steps toward reviving the economy.

Those businesses resourceful enough — or lucky enough — to survive this far into the battle against COVID-19, the illness associated with the coronavirus, still face an economic landscape that disconcertingly shifts beneath their feet. Meanwhile, efforts to thwart the pandemic are defined mostly by their uncertainty.

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