By Lucas Vader
As COVID-19 and its consequential restrictions have begun to fade, the community associated with the Delta Area Chamber of Commerce (DACC) appears to be on the mend, according to DACC Executive Director Mitchell Gronenthal.
This path to normality is benefitting DACC as well, as business dues are back in place and most of the members were able to reopen their doors to the public, with the exception of Needle Rock.
“I’ve had some [businesses] say that they’re still struggling a little, but I’ve had others say that things have gotten back to where it’s almost normal, to where they were prior to COVID,” Gronenthal said.
As is the established nature of this pandemic, situations change on a day-to-day basis, but at this point, from the perspective of DACC, local businesses’ situations are increasingly alright.
Most recent reports on DACC included the sudden cancelation of the 2020 Deltarado Days after having been planned extensively to work safely in the pandemic environment. That was in mid July. Gronenthal reassured that the cancelation was not due to budgetary constraints on DACC. It fully had to do with requirements put on them by the Delta County Health Department which made the event impossible for them to pull off this year.
“For one, lack of volunteers because everybody was scared,” Gronenthal said. “For us to be able to pull certain things off, we needed the volunteers there to help with that, but unfortunately, a lot of our volunteers that do volunteer didn’t want to because of COVID.”
Deltarado Days is currently planned in full for next year.
More timely, however, is the plans for this year’s Trick or Treat Street, Gronenthal said. The event, which was deemed a success last year when the City of Delta did something new by blocking off Main Street for the holiday celebration, is planned for Oct. 30 this year, which is the Friday evening before Halloween, which is on Saturday this year.
DACC, the Delta Police Department and the Delta City Council is awaiting approval of the event by the Delta County Health Department, but the event is currently being planned in full. It’s taking place the day before Halloween in order to utilize more participating businesses on Main Street that would like to hand out candy to the kids.
Gronenthal said he has been working with Greg Rajnowski from the health department on planning the event. Rajnowski is set to take over as director of the department at the end of the year, as current director Ken Nordstrom is retiring.
As far as state and federal funding for business preservation is concerned, Gronenthal reported several business owners have assured him that they would have had to close entirely if it hadn’t been for that help, including the Payroll Protection Program (PPP) and other such opportunities.
While those have dwindled, Gronenthal said opportunities do still come along, including the Energize Colorado loan and grant programs.
DACC took out a loan during the height of the restrictions, but Gronenthal stated that they thankfully only ended up using very little of it.
Further opportunities for business financial help will continue to be sent out in DACC email newsletters.