Stay at home order impacts GJ businesses

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT)-- A common question we're getting into our newsroom:
What is considered a critical business?

Governor Jared Polis sent out a release defining what was exempt from his order on March 25th.

You can view it here:

The Grand Junction Chamber of Commerce said today they expect small retail businesses to be the hardest hit by the governor's latest order, but officials also explained what is being done to help, and why some businesses are labeled essential.

"Its actually a list that comes from the federal government, and I think the state took it and actually tweaked it a little bit,” said Diane Schwenke, with the Grand Junction Chamber of Commerce.

It’s a list that has been in place since after September 11th, 2001, and the main goal is to maintain a safe distance from threats, but continue to have services that citizens need.

However, officials say some things are being done to help employees who can’t go to work.

"Most of our utility providers are giving a grace period, or some deferals. A new bill, which will hopefully pass March 27th, will actually up the amount of unemployment insurance benefits that people get," Schwenke said.

The City of Grand Junction pushed back February sales tax payments for businesses until July 31st.