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Following in the footsteps of neighboring Broomfield and Larimer counties, Boulder County intends to apply for 5-Star certification.

The 5-Star business-variance program is administered by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and allows participating businesses to operate at one level above Boulder’s position on the statewide dial, provided that they demonstrate compliance with enhanced public health guidelines and safety precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

While Broomfield and Larimer have already received authorization to move ahead with 5-Star programs, Weld County has said it will not apply. Greeley and the Greeley Area Chamber of Commerce, however, have applied on behalf of businesses in the city.

“Boulder County’s proposed program was drafted through a partnership between the Boulder Chamber and Longmont Economic Development Partnership, with support from the Boulder County Commissioners’ Office and Boulder County Public Health,” according to a joint news release from the chamber and LEDP.

“This has been a significant effort on the part of the county, municipalities, chambers, economic development organizations and other partners across the county,” LEDP president Jessica Erickson said in the release. “We are confident in our readiness to submit an application and stand up a program now that the county is eligible to do so, in part because of the work we have been doing since March to develop the safety system and certification program as part of the COVID-19 Manufacturers Task Force.”

Longmont-based H2 Manufacturing Solutions LLC has been tapped to serve as the certification vendor for businesses attempting to enter the 5-Star program. Boulder County is looking for approximately 75 volunteers to serve as trained auditors and administrators for the program. These volunteers would be overseen by H2.

Heidi Hostetter, CEO of H2, has been working for months with the county and with businesses throughout the region to develop and implement a safety system and certification program meant to provide confidence among employees and the public.

“This is an important milestone in our effort to support local businesses,” said John Tayer, CEO of the Boulder Chamber. “This gives our businesses the opportunity to demonstrate their concern for the public health while at the same time building back a sustainable business.”

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