As Leadville and Lake County transition to allow freer access to businesses and spaces, city and county officials are working with the community to try to clarify the process and act as advocates for local business owners.

In an economic recovery meeting last Thursday, a mix of public officials, business owners and non-profit employees met remotely to discuss plans moving forward and what collaboration between public and private entities looks like in this new phase.

Preventing spikes in the number of COVID-19 cases remains the priority of the city as businesses begin to see increases in traffic, Chad Most, director of the Leadville Main Street program, said during the meeting.

“We’re not out of the woods yet, and this is not the time for complacency,” Most said while discussing the strategy for communicating goals to businesses.

The three main focuses of discussion with businesses as they prepare to re-open will be preventing infection, emphasizing that restrictions being implemented are coming from the state level and continuing to focus on collaborative, community-wide efforts to address these challenges, he said.

Moving forward, the Leadville Main Street program will focus on messaging and communication to help business owners.

Primarily, members of the subcommittee identified a need, while interfacing with local businesses, to act as advocates on businesses’ behalf and to help answer their questions, either directly or by connecting them with people who can, John McMurtry of the Lake County Community Fund, said.

In focusing on explaining the orders, Commissioner Kayla Marcella said she wants to clarify for businesses that local government is still subject to state-level public health orders, and are therefore unable to waive restrictions placed by the state.

As retail and food service businesses are allowed more customers, public buildings and places of worship are beginning to open their doors as well.

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