Post-pandemic business improving, help still available

Problem Solvers

DENVER (KDVR) — The pandemic recovery continues. Colorado’s business confidence index is now at 64.4%, the first time to rise above 50% since January 2020, but city officials point out that continued support of local businesses is key to a full road to recovery.

Mayor Michael Hancock’s Economic Council for Recovery continues to facilitate a plan to help businesses still struggling as well as those on their way back to a sense of normalcy.

Seated restaurant dining is now at 80%, up from 77% last April.

The mayor’s plan to take Denver from rescue to recovery is designed to keep businesses thriving well past the boost many are seeing this summer.

Mimi Luong and her husband are working hard to keep their family business afloat.

“We have been in business for 38 years. We’ve never seen anything like we saw last year,” she said.

The family sells unique items from around the world at Truong An Gifts on Federal Boulevard and Alameda Avenue. 

During the pandemic, the business, which also sells specialty health products, kept its doors open by providing curbside pickup service and qualifying for relief funding offered by the Department of Economic Development and Opportunity.

“We still had to keep our doors open, pay rent, pay employees,” Luong said.

The city told the FOX31 Problem Solvers, a key component of success for the mayor’s Rescue to Recovery Plan is continuing to make sure no one is left behind regardless of location or background.

“We are equitably getting people back to work,” spokesperson Chelsea Rosty said.  

Rosty told FOX31 there are clear signs of recovery, but momentum must be maintained. 

“Vaccination rates in Denver are reaching 70% recently and businesses are being able to open at full capacity, we’ve got a lot of those indicators, even people having issues hiring,” she said.

With seated restaurant dining still at approximately 20% lower than where it should be, Rosty said the most important goal in the coming months is to “activate Denver’s main streets, get people back out again and ringing cash registers.”

Rosty emphasized that strong community support is appreciated by business owners and everyone as a whole striving for normalcy. 

“We were a strong economic player before and we intend to be a strong economic player going out of this,” she said.

The economic recovery plan includes infrastructure investments and the Construction Careers Pilot Program, which  provides job training and paves the way for business ownership.

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