Matching grants of up to $3,000 are available from the city of Durango to downtown businesses that want to participate in the 2021 bump-out program.
A total of $60,000 is available – $50,000 from the city and $10,000 from the Business Improvement District – for the grants, which will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Applications for the matching grants are now being taken on the city’s website.
The first group of bump-outs will go up March 15 and businesses will be allowed to keep their bump-outs up through Nov. 1
“The bump-out program implemented by the city last year was highly successful. More than 80% of businesses supported bringing the program back in 2021,” BID Executive Director Tim Walsworth said. “Improvements to the program this year will make the spaces safer, more visually appealing and accessible to everyone.”
Bump-outs, outdoor patio areas for dining or retail use in parking spaces adjacent to a business’ sidewalk frontage, were created in spring and summer 2020 to help restaurants and retailers that lost indoor capacity after public-health measures were put in place to slow transmission of COVID-19.
The bump-out grant provides a reimbursement of 50% of eligible project costs with a maximum grant of $3,000. Eligible expenses covered by the grant include labor, building materials, Americans with Disabilities Act accessible ramps and improvements, outdoor furniture, landscaping and signs.
“There is more than enough parking in downtown to accommodate the 40 or so spaces that we trade to obtain the bump-out space,” Walsworth said. “I look forward to taking my family to enjoy a meal in a bump-out space soon.”
Alex Rugoff, business development and redevelopment coordinator for the city, said local businesses – particularly restaurants and retailers – have been hit especially hard by the pandemic.
“We heard from several businesses that the bump-outs were an important lifeline in 2020,” he said. “We’ve also heard from residents and business owners about the need to make the bump-outs safer, more attractive and accessible. We look forward to building upon last year’s success and having a strong local economic recovery.”
In addition to the matching grants for businesses, Rugoff said the city has received another grant from the Colorado Department of Transportation that it will use to enhance safety of the 2021 bump-outs by putting up concrete planters, bicycle racks, improving road markings and providing infrastructure to better accommodate pedestrians and bicyclists.