Expanded Outdoor Dining During COVID-19

The City of Fort Collins is launching temporary outdoor dining expansions for restaurant and bars, which temporarily allows restaurants, bars, and retail businesses to expand their business footprint onto the public rights-of-way. Businesses must apply for, and be approved to use additional public space.


  • Fort Collins has created a temporary program to expand options for restaurants and bars to operate in outdoor patio settings adjacent to their businesses.
  • The intent of the program is to allow for greater social distancing and safety for bar and restaurant‐goers when public health orders allow restaurants and bars to resume sit‐down service.
  • Under this program, Fort Collins would consider allowing businesses to expand existing patio space or establish new outdoor areas, potentially including parking lots, sidewalks, street parking spaces, and possibly closing select streets to expand outdoor operating areas. The City would maintain ADA access at all times.

Find a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) here.

Apply for an Outdoor Dining Expansion Permit

Colorado Face Covering Order

The State’s order requires people in Colorado who are 11 years and older to wear a covering over their noses and mouths:

  • When entering or moving within any public indoor space.
  • While using or waiting to use public (buses, light-rail) or non-personal (taxis, car services, ride-shares) transportation services.

People who do not have to wear a mask include:

  • People who are 10 years old and younger.
  • People who cannot medically tolerate a face covering.
  • Children ages 2 and under should NOT wear masks or cloth face coverings.

Businesses must:

  • Refuse service to people who are not wearing masks.
  • Post signs at entrances that instruct customers they must wear a mask when entering or moving around inside the business. Half and full size face covering posters available for download.

Looking for face coverings, cleaning, and safety supplies for your business? Visit

Reopen Safe

Guidelines are now available from both Governor Polis and Larimer County: is a resource exchange for PPE, cleaning, and safety supplies for businesses and the workplace in response to the increased demand from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Visit for a full list of guidance and reopening best practices, as well as CARES Act and other financial resources.

Signage Templates

Templates provided by the Larimer County Health Department 

Face coverings are now mandatory for all persons (customers and employees) to wear face coverings when entering and while inside retail and commercial businesses.

Businesses and on-site service providers are required to clearly display informational signage in both English and Spanish. State, City, County, or homemade signs are acceptable.

Downloadable signs Fort Collins businesses can use:

Customer Best Practices Signage for download

Arts & Culture – Responsible Patron Checklist

Fitness Studios & Gyms – Responsible Patron Checklist

Restaurant Dining – Responsible Patron Checklist

Retail Stores – Responsible Patron Checklist

Salons – Responsible Patron Checklist

Reopen Strong

Economic Health Office – Fort Collins Business Resources

Downtown Business Association – Support and Save Old Town Fort Collins campaign

Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce – Open for Business listing

Visit Fort Collins– FoCoToGo, FoCo From Home, Bingo cards, and more.

Fort Collins URA– Urban Renewal Authority

Larimer County Economic & Workforce Development– Connecting people and businesses

More business associations and partners:

Fort Collins Startup Week  – free videos and resources including, Getting Started in E-Commerce, Online Teaching, Marketing During a Crisis, and local Scaleup presentations from the 2020 Fort Collins Startup Week event. – exists to connect local freelancers to local projects and work, hosted by Fort Collins Startup Week.

Poudre River Public Library District Business Center – speak to a business librarian in English or Spanish, a nonprofit librarian, or access market research data and information.

Larimer Small Business Development Center – free and low-cost workshops and consulting with local industry experts in both English and Spanish.

Current City of Fort Collins leniencies


City Zoning suspends permitting for some temporary signs placed by essential businesses during the coronavirus outbreak.

  • Contact Zoning for additional information at or (970) 416-2745



Utility CARES Act Assistance Program – Small business customers may request financial assistance totaling $1,200 or less for past-due Fort Collins Utilities bills dated May 1 or later (electric, water, stormwater and wastewater services).

  • Apply early. Funds are limited, and applications will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Approved funds will be applied directly to commercial customer accounts as bill credits within 30 days of applying.
  • For more information, please visit Fort Collins Utilities CARES Act Grant Program


What else you can do for the community

Visit United Way Larimer County for nonprofit resources, food and medical assistance, mental health resources, and more.

OurCity – Community members, we want to hear your stories about how you and others in our community are rising up to show that we’re in this together #ForFoCo. From videos of your neighborhood’s 8 p.m. howl to photos of your physically distanced mask sewing club and what you love most about the local businesses you’re supporting most.

We want to hear it all: Visit to share your stories!

Follow The Movement

Keep up with the latest by following the hashtags #ForFortCollins and #ForFoCo

Our Partners

Downtown Development Authority Logo
Old Town Media Logo

Visit for information about business relief and additional resources.

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