Indy launches grant program to help restaurants with outdoor dining in the winter

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Posted at 8:34 PM, Oct 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-30 20:34:37-04

INDIANAPOLIS — The city of Indianapolis and Visit Indy on Friday rolled out a new grant program for local businesses to help enable outdoor dining in the coming winter months.

The $1 million reimbursement plan was first announced earlier this month along with an $11 million Hospitality Establishment Lifeline Payment grant program for local restaurants, bars, and entertainment venues.

Under the program, the city has allocated $1 million for establishments affected by the COVID-19 public health orders to be reimbursed up to $2,500 for expenses related to winter preparedness during the pandemic. The purchase of heaters, outdoor seating capacity, canopies, or other necessary personal protective equipment are all covered by the program.

The application program opened Friday and will be available until Nov. 20.

LEARN MORE | Ready for Winter Grant Program

Outdoor seating continues to be the safest route for restaurants, bars, and venues," Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett said. "We want to help establishments make any adjustments they can to keep this practice going, and I encourage business owners to visit the site in advance of the application process to ensure they are fully prepared to take advantage of these funds."

"Continued financial support is critical for our hospitality businesses to get through this pandemic — and the health of the hospitality industry is critical for the health of our economy," Leonard Hoops, president and CEO of Visit Indy, said. "Our thanks to the City of Indianapolis for their partnership in this effort. We encourage our fellow residents to continue safely supporting Indy's restaurants, bars, and live event venues as we all adjust to the changing seasons."

The reimbursable grants can be used for purchases or rentals incurred and/or paid July 1, 2020 through Nov. 20, 2020. Applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • For-profit independently operated restaurants and bars, and live entertainment venues that are subject to Marion County Food & Beverage tax and were forced to shut down or operate at reduced capacity by state or local government as a direct result of a public health order;
  • Business must have a properly permitted permanent or temporary outdoor seating area, or if unable to operate an outdoor area, business offers food delivery via a third party; located and/or headquartered within Marion County
  • Established before Feb. 15, 2020.

Applications will be reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis.