CMU face mask distribution hailed as a show of support

Phil Castle, The Business Times

Diane Schwenke, president and chief executive officer of the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce, models a Colorado Mesa University face mask. (Business Times photo by Phil Castle)

About 10,000 cloth face masks will be delivered to Mesa County businesses in what’s described as a show of support for both safety and Colorado Mesa University students.

Diane Schwenke, president and chief executive officer of the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce, said it’s important for businesses to keep employees and customers safe in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

It’s also important, Schwenke said, for businesses to recognize the contributions of CMU and its students to the Grand Valley economy.

About 10,000 of the maroon, black and gold face masks with CMU and Maverick logos will be delivered to businesses in a collaborative effort involving CMU and local business and economic development organizations.

The effort is funded by CMU, Mesa County, the cities of Grand Junction and Fruita and Town of Palisade.

Fruita Mayor Joel Kincaid said the mask distribution offers another example of the collaboration that occurs in the Grand Valley. “It takes a partnership to do something like this.”

Schwenke said the deliveries will help businesses comply with pandemic restrictions requiring face covering in public indoor spaces as well as keep employees and customers safe.

The masks also offer an opportunty for businesses to show their support for CMU and CMU students, she said. The university and its students constitute a substantial economic driver.

The latest results of an economic impact study estimate the total direct and indirect effects of the university total nearly $469 million. Student expenditures constitute the largest the single category of direct spending. Out of $142.3 million in estimated annual spending for room, board, transportation and other expenses, $128.1 million remained in the regional economy.

Angel Bautista, a senior at CMU, said students appreciate the efforts of businesses to make them feel welcome and tend to patronize those businesses.