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Colorado Restaurants Lost $3 Billion In 2020, Study Finds

DENVER (CBS4) - Colorado restaurants lost more than $3 billion in 2020, according to a new survey from the Colorado Restaurant Association. The January 2021 Restaurant Impact Survey includes feedback from 279 businesses between Jan. 15 and Jan. 30.

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The association estimates the restaurant industry has lost about 94,000 jobs during the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. About half of all businesses surveyed said they will consider closing within 6 months.

"As we continue to get data from Colorado restaurants, it is clear that COVID-19 is the gravest crisis the restaurant industry has faced in living memory," said Sonia Riggs, president and CEO of the Colorado Restaurant Association. "Restaurants play a significant role in Colorado's economy. We need assistance to recover, and state and local governments have an opportunity to play a large role."

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State lawmakers have introduced House Bill 21-1027, which would extend the sale of alcohol for takeout and delivery in Colorado for five years. The Colorado Restaurant Association says 95% of restaurants surveyed are making money from selling alcohol to-go and 62% of restaurants say passing the bill is "vital to helping them survive."

Over the weekend, the U.S. Senate passed the American Rescue Plan, which includes a $28.6 billion relief package benefitting restaurants. The bill will go back to the U.S. House for a final vote before President Joe Biden signs it into law.

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