Town News

Winter Outdoor Grant Program Application Process for Restaurants Is Now Open for Second Round of Funding

There is now more funding available to assist restaurants during the COVID-19 restrictions.

Governor Jared Polis, in partnership with the Colorado Restaurant Association (CRA), the Colorado Restaurant Foundation, Xcel Energy, and the Xcel Energy Foundation, announced the next round of funding for Colorado restaurants today through the Winter Outdoor Grant Program.

The Outdoor Grant Program provides funding for winterizing patios for the cold months to help increase capacity and give restaurants the best chance of surviving the pandemic.

The Details

  • The Program is designated for restaurants that have demonstrated financial need as defined by the Foundation’s Board of Directors in time of declared Covid-19 disaster.
  • Grant funds can be used toward design, construction, applicable fees and supplies like tents, heaters, etc.
  • Grants will be distributed through the Colorado Restaurant Foundation.
  • Restaurants must be Colorado-based and majority-owned by Colorado residents
  • Funds are limited and applicants are eligible to receive a maximum of $10,000 and may only receive assistance once.
  • Applications open November 30, 2020, and close on December 11, 2020
  • 129 restaurants across the state received aid during the first round of grant funding and eligible applications that were not funded in the first round will automatically be rolled over for review in the second round.

Outdoor Space Concepts

  • In mid-October, Gov. Polis was joined by CRA and restaurateurs  to discuss ways to support local restaurants during the pandemic. The program developed feasible ideas for how all restaurants could effectively create and adapt to additional dining via the Outdoor Winter Design Workshop held on October 19.
  • The event brought together engineering firms, architectural firms, other construction and design professionals, public health officials, and representatives from local fire departments, building officials, restaurateurs, to create winter outdoor dining concepts that considered safety, cost, permitting, regulations, ease of implementation, and guest comfort.
  • The final conceptual plans are now available at

Program Funding

The Program is made possible by a seed commitment from the Xcel Energy Foundation and Xcel Energy, which made a $500,000 contribution to the Colorado Restaurant Association Foundation to help support local restaurants through the winter season.

In addition to this donation, they are also committing to matching donations of $50,000, up to an additional $250,000, for every $500,000 that’s raised for the Colorado Restaurant Association Foundation (a possible total contribution of $750,000 from the Xcel Energy Foundation and Xcel Energy). This is one of the single largest gifts the company has made in their history.

DoorDash donated $500,000 to the Winter Outdoor Dining Fund and other groups have contributed critical funding to this program.

Other important contributors to the Winter Outdoor Dining Fund include the Colorado Health Foundation, MDC Holdings, New Belgium Brewing Company and the Denver Broncos Charitable Foundation. The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade allocated $500k from the Economic Development Council’s Strategic Fund. To date, over $1.8 million has been raised for the fund.

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