In a press conference on Friday, Colorado Governor Jared Polis announced multiple orders that will assist hard-hit small businesses and state residents who are reeling from the economic effects of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Colorado Governor Jared Polis held a press conference on Friday morning, announcing that the unemployment office will expedite claims, utility companies will not shut off services for customers' unpaid bills, and that the state tax filing deadline has been delated 90 days to July 15, without penalty. These orders—and several more—are all in response to the heavy toll that the COVID-19 pandemic is taking on residents and small businesses across the state.

One of the more interesting orders is Polis's decision to allow restaurants (which are currently closed to in-person seating/dining) to sell alcoholic drinks via takeout and delivery (and everybody said, "Amen!"). The order is just temporary, however.

Other highlights of Polis's speech include the following announcements:

  • He is asking companies to allow for 90-day deferments in mortgage payments, as well as landlords not to charge renters late fees until April 30.
  • He has asked law enforcement not to enforce evictions or foreclosures for the time being.
  • He has asked utility companies to refrain from shutting off services for customers who are late paying their utility bills.
  • He has issued an executive order that will allow the state's unemployment office to expedite claims and payment.
  • He has extended the state tax filing deadline by 90 days, to July 15. 
  • He has extended the open enrollment period for healthcare coverage through connect4healthco.com, through April 3.
  • All non-essential medical procedures are to be suspended through April 14.
  • All non-essential business services, such as salons, spas, and tattoo parlors, are to be on hiatus until April 30.
  • There are multiple resources and a loan program available for small businesses, available at choosecolorado.com.
  • He has pulled together an "economic council," chaired by Federico Pena, who served as mayor of Denver from 1983 to 1991.

 Watch the full press conference here:

Polis stopped short of issuing a shelter-in-place order, even as New York and California governors have enacted those for their communities. 

"These times are difficult, but they will be temporary," Polis said. "Coloradans should know that we'll get through this together; we'll be well-positioned for success. We're standing up our Emergency Business Council now to already think about how we can grow jobs and protect jobs throughout and after this global economic crisis."

What did you think of the governor's announcements? Tell us in the comments!