CEO Update: Summertime Tourism in 2020
How many of you hate bugs? I sure do. When I was a kid, the moms would take us out in the car and head to the forest for an adventure. It was great as we collected all sorts of treasures; leaves and bark and acorns. What an amazing time! That’s until the kids got back into the car (wood sided station wagon) and before the moms were there, attack of the bugs! The boys gathered a box full of cicadas and then decided to let them go in the car to fly all around. That’s when the screaming crying and laughing took place. I bet you can guess who was screaming and who was crying! This is of course a big part of why I hate bugs in addition to the fact that I’m always the first one to get bit.
While this occurred when I was young and lived in Illinois before I moved to Colorado, it gave me a sense of what I like and don’t like about being outside. I love the trails in our mountains, the reservoirs, the wildflowers on our plains, and the amazing wildlife we have here in our great state. I know many of our rural communities depend on tourism as a source of income and most counties in Colorado are significantly down in revenue. In 2018, Colorado welcomed approximately 85.2 million visitors (37.8 million overnight visitors) who spent more than $22.3 billion. The tourism industry supports more than 174,000 jobs in Colorado. Today, Senator Bennet and Senator Young from Indiana introduced a bipartisan bill called Reviving the Economy Sustainably Towards a Recovery in Twenty-twenty (RESTART), which is a new loan program for small businesses most impact by COVID-19. The RESTART Act will allow small business owners that received the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to apply for a loan to “provide funding to jump-start the hardest-hit business for the remainder of 2020 and provide loan forgiveness as a backstop again ongoing economic challenges.” To learn more reach out to Senator Bennet’s Office at https://www.bennet.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2020/5/bennet-young-introduce-restart-act-to-support-hardest-hit-small-and-mid-sized-businesses.
CRHC also knows our rural communities are struggling with how to come back from COVID-19 and we’ve heard you. CRHC is working with a communications consultant to develop templates that can be used to reach out to your community to let them know it is safe to return to the hospital and clinics and what you as rural facilities are doing to keep the community safe. Be on the lookout for these resources in the coming weeks.
As your State Office of Rural Health and Rural Health Association, CRHC is honored to serve all 47 rural communities in Colorado. We appreciate you and what you do to ensure access to care in your rural communities and we know you are struggling. CRHC will continue to raise awareness of the financial struggles being faced in our rural communities (Click here to read our infograph, targeted at legislators, that details your losses of revenue of approximately 50%), bring you resources on billing and coding and the relaxed regulations around telehealth, bring access to grant funding, communicate issues to State and Federal policy makers, and collaborate both locally with partners and nationally with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), Health and Human Services (HHS), Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP), the National Rural Health Association (NRHA), and the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH).
Continued thanks for taking care of our rural communities.