Denver District 5 | March 2020
Councilwoman Amanda Sawyer | District 5
720-337-5555 |   [email protected]
Chief of Staff:  Melissa Horn  | Senior Aide: Logan Fry | Aide: Sara Visser
COVID-19 Information & Resource Update
Dear Neighbors,

In this stressful time, we want to provide you with as much information and as many resources as we can. To that end, please read updated information below on what both the City and the State are doing to support our community. Thank you again to all of our workers at the forefront of this crisis. Thank you to all who are staying home but ordering out in support of our small businesses. We will get through this together. Stay safe and healthy.


City & County of Denver Small Business & Resident Support
Visit Denver's COVID-19 web page for the most up to date information on the City's response to this crisis.

The City and County of Denver has prepared a package to help support businesses and employers that are most impacted by the COVID-19 health emergency. This includes:

  • Denver Economic Development and Opportunity (DEDO) is setting up an emergency relief program to provide cash grants of up to $7,500 to qualifying businesses, with highest priority on those industries most impacted by COVID-19, such as the food industry. The City will be working in partnership with Mile High United Way and Downtown Denver Partnership (DDP) to distribute the funds.

  • DEDO, in partnership with CEDS Finance, will refocus its existing microloan program to support small business stabilization efforts. Current recipients of loans from DEDO will also have the ability to temporarily defer loan payments, should they need to. 

  • DEDO will be working with the State and Federal governments on next steps for our businesses to have the ability to apply for the Small Business Association’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan. These loans could provide up to $2 million to small businesses or private, non-profit organizations that suffer substantial economic injury resulting from a declared disaster – like COVID-19.

  • Denver's Department of Finance will waive the 15% penalty for late payment of February and March sales, use, and occupational privilege taxes due March 20 and April 20, 2020. The return must be filed and funds remitted within 30 days of the due date. DOF will evaluate extension of the waiver on a month-by-month basis.

Additionally, Denver Arts & Venues' (DAV) IMAGINE 2020 Artist Assistance Fund will award grants up to $1,000 to individual artists who live in Denver whose incomes are being adversely affected due to cancellation of events, classes, performances and other creative work. DAV welcomes applications from all artists living in Denver but will prioritize lower income artists and artists who have no other source of income.The Fund will be made available for, but not limited to: 

  • recouping financial losses due to cancelled events;
  • reimbursement for travel expenses related to creative work that was paid for by the artist; and
  • offsetting loss of income for teaching artists who could not teach during this time because of cancelled classes and school closures. 

The City is also trying to assist workers who are losing their jobs. To support job seekers while the city’s Workforce Centers are physically closed, workforce services will be offering 1:1 services online, by phone, and via email. In-person hiring events have also been changed into a month-long virtual job fair where job-seekers can access the same job opportunities they would be able to at our in-person job fairs. For more information visit Denver's Support Services web page . The City also offers the following existing resources for Denver residents:

Denver has created a food donation and distribution program with restaurants, food banks, and others to reduce food waste and help those in need. Extra food eligible for donation can be picked up or dropped off. Learn more about the program, food donation guidelines and locations by visiting the Food Donation web page .

The City ha s taken steps to assist people experiencing homelessness who are exhibiting flu-like symptoms by opening the St. Charles Recreation Center as a supplemental shelter. The facility has 50 beds and is providing food and other services to guests. An additional supplemental facility and respite rooms may open later this week.

Lastly, the Denver Department of Transportation and Infrastructure (DOTI) will suspend enforcement of the following: 

  • Parking meters - all meters will be free and without time limits
  • Time limited parking areas (e.g., 30-minute, 1-hour, 2-hour, etc.)
  • Residential Permit Parking areas
  • 72-hour parking limits - residents and visitors can park their vehicles in one spot for more than 72 hours
  • Large vehicle parking - people can park trucks and other vehicles more than 22’ in length on the street. 
  • School bus loading zones
  • Booting

DOTI’s street sweeping program will begin April 1; however, the city will not enforce parking restrictions related to street sweeping for 30 days. People who are able to move their cars on street sweeping day are asked to do so to allow street sweepers to reach the curb line and more effectively sweep. 
State of Colorado Update
Yesterday, March 18, Governor Jared Polis took additional steps to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. An executive order was signed which:

  • Limits gathering to no more than 10 people for 30 days
  • Suspends in-person learning in public and private schools across the state between March 23 and April 17
  • Extends the closure of ski areas to at least April 6

These measures are in addition to Public Health Order 20-22 which closed bars, restaurants, theaters, gymnasiums, and casinos statewide. Restaurant delivery, pick-up, takeout and drive-thoughs are okay, and encouraged! Grocery stores, convenience stores and food pantries are not closed. Pharmacies are not closed.
The State of Colorado has also launched a new website with a breadth of informational resources and improved data visualization for COVID-19. The website will be the state’s primary resource for information related to COVID-19 and will feature statewide coordinated response information. This newly launched website includes information on:

Donate and Volunteer
Many of us are looking for ways we can help during this crisis. There are numerous non profit organizations on the front lines of this pandemic that need your assistance including:

  • Help Colorado Now is the website the State of Colorado has created to help coordinate a volunteer and donation response to the COVID-19 crisis.

  • Colorado COVID Relief Fund - Money raised will be used to support the needs of communities impacted by COVID-19 in both response and recovery. The fund will support work in three categories: prevention, impact, and recovery efforts. This will include things like medical and cleaning supplies, food services, early childhood education, small business support, behavioral health services, and more. 

  • Mile High United Way Volunteers are needed to support nonprofits impacted by COVID-19. If you are young, health, and showing no signs or symptoms of the virus, volunteers are needed to help prepare meals, distribute supplies, and help keep our shelter facilities clean and safe for guests and workers.

  • Vitalant (formerly Bonfils) - Blood banks are reporting urgent shortages due to a drop in donations. View a list of donation locations and make an appointment to donate blood.

  • Denver Public Schools Foundation Food Security Fund is accepting monetary donations to help fulfill the food security needs of DPS families. Money received expands the reach of Grab & Go meals to adults during the week and adds the Friday Bag Drop so adults and children can have food security over the weekends.
Senior Shopping Hours
To help protect the vulnerable in our community, some stores are beginning to offer dedicated time for senior shoppers. As of now, here are some of the stores offering this service:

  • Safeway and Albertsons - Every Tuesday and Thursday from 7:00 - 8:00 am the store will be reserved for vulnerable shoppers who must leave home to obtain their groceries.

  • Whole Foods - Customers who are 60 and older will be allowed to shop one hour before opening to the general public, from 7:00 - 8:00 am.

  • Target - The first hour of shopping each Wednesday will be dedicated to support vulnerable guests, including the elderly and those with underlying health concerns.

  • Dollar General - Stores have been asked to dedicate the first hour of each shopping day to only senior shoppers.

  • Costco - Stores will open early to members 60 and older (no extended family allowed) on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:00 - 9:00 am.

  • Walmart - From March 24 through April 28, shoppers 60 and older will be able to enter the store one hours before it opens for all customers. The pharmacies and vision centers will also be open during this time.
Child Care
The newly established Colorado Emergency Child Care Collaborative provides emergency child care for essential workers with children including; health care providers and staff, public safety officers, and those supporting at-risk populations. Learn if you qualify and find out information about who is covered, how the program is structured, how it will be staffed, licensure, and more by visiting .
School Activities
On March 18, Governor Jared Polis signed an executive order suspending in-person learning in public and private schools across the state between March 23 and April 17. In response, many schools, including Denver Public School (DPS), are working to develop remote learning plans. DPS plans to begin remote learning on April 7 . Here are some resources to help parents and children stay engaged until remote learning begins:

  • Colorado Emergency Child Care Collaborative - provides emergency child care for essential workers with children including; health care providers and staff, public safety officers, and those supporting at-risk populations. 

  • Library LION - Instantly access over 30,000 ebooks and audiobooks. DPS Students: Use your 6-digit student ID number and birth date (unless you changed it).

  • Digital Library - Instantly access the DPS digital library and curriculum.

City Council
  • All Committees have been cancelled the week of March 23.
  • General public comment before the City Council meeting March 23, has been cancelled.
  • The City Council meeting on March 23, will continue as planned, however all public hearings that were scheduled for this evening have been postponed. We urge the public to participate by watching online or on Channel 8.
Mental and Emotional Health Support
This is an extraordinary situation and you may be feeling like you need additional support. If you’re feeling anxious about coronavirus, know that you’re not alone. It’s normal to feel worried during stressful times, especially when there are things that are out of our control. If you need immediate assistance call 911 , otherwise, here are additional resources to support your mental and emotional health:

Colorado Crisis Services

If you don’t know where to begin getting mental health, substance use or emotional help for yourself or someone you know Colorado Crisis Services can help. Colorado Crisis Services provides free, confidential and immediate support, 24/7/365. If you are in crisis or need help dealing with one, you can:

  • Call 1-844-493-TALK (8255) to speak to a trained professional.
  • Text TALK to 38255