Boulder restaurateurs ask city council for sales-tax abatements, rent loans, other support as revenues nosedive

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BOULDER — A group of Boulder restaurant owners is pitching the Boulder City Council on a series of regulatory proposals to prop up an industry ravaged by the spread of the COVID-19 virus in Colorado and across the country.

In a letter to the council sent Monday, the group of 31 restaurants said that while some of their revenue streams are intact because of take-out service, the larger drop in income is threatening to cause further layoffs and force restaurants to close entirely and potentially threaten city tax revenue.

“Just as important, our restaurants are community gathering centers that we will need more than ever once we contain the spread of COVID-19. All of this is threatened if we don’t act now,” the letter reads.

The restaurant industry has been among the hardest-hit in the country as Colorado and other states and local governments shut down gathering areas and non-essential businesses to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The owners are suggesting that Boulder halt its penalty for late tax payments or abate city sales taxes altogether, offer rent assistance on a case-by-case basis through interest-free loans, promote restaurants that are still operating and petition state and federal agencies for financial support.

The letter was submitted on behalf of the restaurants by Boulder Chamber president and CEO John Tayer. However, Tayer told BizWest the letter represents the views of the restaurant owners, not the larger Chamber which has not yet taken a position.

Boulder mayor Sam Weaver was not immediately available for comment Monday afternoon.

 

Read the full letter below:

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