Restaurant guide

The Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC partnered with several agencies to launch a new website designed to help entrepreneurs enter the food and beverage industry. More industries will be added as the site develops.

The Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC, along with several partner organizations, launched a new website this month that offers step-by-step guides on how to open a new restaurant, food cart, café or distillery in the city.

COSOpenForBiz.com allows users to select the type of food and beverage business they are interested in starting and then provides an array of resources that cover the basics of creating a business plan, overcoming legal hurdles, and in the case of brick-and-mortar businesses, selecting and developing a location.

According to a press release from the chamber, several different organizations throughout the city came together in 2019 to discuss how to create a guide that might help spur new business development, including the city of Colorado Springs, Better Business Bureau, Colorado Springs Fire Department, Colorado Springs Utilities, the Downtown Partnership of Colorado Springs, El Paso County, El Paso County Public Health, My Biz Colorado, Pikes Peak Regional Building Department, and the Pikes Peak Small Business Development Center.

The consortium continues to meet monthly and plans to expand the website in the future to include other industry sectors.

Even with restrictions on seating capacity loosened this spring, many restaurant owners continue to struggle to recoup heavy financial losses from 2020 and are also experiencing a shortage in staffing, but additional government assistance is on the way.

The Small Business Administration will begin accepting applications from restaurants on Friday, April 30 for financial assistance from a pool of $28.6 billion provided through the American Rescue Plan. Restaurant owners who plan to apply can register in advance at restaurants.sba.gov.