ARVADA, Colo. — A year after finding solutions to support small businesses, Arvada community leaders say their efforts were successful.
"We understood that there was going to be a drastic effect on our community and particularly the business community, so we looked to respond to those changes," said Joe Hengstler, executive director of the Olde Town Arvada Business Improvement District (BID).
Hengstler said he and other community leaders met in March of 2020 to determine a "holistic" approach that would keep as many businesses up and running as possible.
"We tried to do everything from encouraging the community to support local businesses, and we also wanted to let everybody know that as businesses began to reopen, they were safe," Hengstler said.
The efforts were later titled the Arvada Resiliency Taskforce.
In addition to running campaigns that supported small businesses, Hengstler said Arvada officials tried to educate owners on grants, PPP applications and COVID-19 safety protocols.
Hengstler said their efforts paved the way for good results. According to a press release, of Arvada's nearly 3,500 businesses, only 223 permanently closed. The municipality said over 350 new businesses were also licensed
"I think it says a lot about doing business in Arvada," Hengstler said.
Arvada native, Scott Spears, owns five businesses in the area. He said he credits the taskforce with circulating word of mouth to keep businesses open.
"They were running campaigns left and right, they were driving business to all the business," Hengstler said. "They were working their behinds off to make sure we had a fighting chance."