As restrictions across the state begin to ease, local businesses are still fighting to stay afloat. While restaurant owners wait to hear the governor’s orders on the first phase of reopening, many aren’t getting their hopes up, stating that opening isn’t realistic if it’s at less than 50% capacity. “We’re reluctant to bring people back unless we can do it correctly and safely,” said Jon Bortles – Chief Operating Officer of Woody’s Pizza. Since it seems like takeout might be the norm for a bit longer, Golden is ready to welcome visitors from around the Denver area with open arms, encouraging Denver and surrounding area residents to come enjoy the local businesses, trails and parks.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit Colorado in March, the Golden community was quick to respond. One of the initiatives – BGoldN – was created by Tyson Noeth to help the underserved and support local restaurants at the same time. Noeth started collecting donations from the community to purchase meals from local restaurants and serve them to residents in need. BGoldN started with enough donations for 50 meals a day and that grew to 85 meals a day over the course of several weeks.
One popular initiative among Golden restaurants is to give the tips from takeout orders to the staff that was laid off due to the pandemic. Woody’s has collected over $25,000 in tips since March and all of it has been donated to the 53 employees that haven’t been able to work.
“From our perspective, it was interesting how almost overnight this program developed. Everyone was scrambling to find out how to pay their bills and help people in need,” stated Bortles.
In addition to BGoldN’s program that gives back to those in need, several other initiatives have started with similar intentions. Boeth started GiftGoldN – an online marketplace funded by BGoldN where residents can purchase gift cards to local businesses.
“We’re just trying to keep people employed and keep the lights on,” stated Noeth. Tributary Food Hall also created a “Pay it Forward” board where anyone can purchase an item, write down what it is on a tag and donate it to a person in need who can come in, pick the tag off the board and use it to purchase the item described.
While local restaurants wait to hear back on the reopening phases, Golden welcomes visitors from the Denver metro area to come take a walk along Clear Creek, visit a park, go on a hike and support the community by ordering something to-go at one of the many local restaurants. Another fun option is to go on a self-guided historic walking tour or public art tour using the linked maps to guide you around the city. Whatever you decide to do, make sure to support the local businesses and follow local and state guidelines.