The city of South Bend is opening applications for a new grant program to compensate local restaurants for operational changes they’ve made during the COVID-19 pandemic. The city says it has partnered with the South Bend Regional Chamber of Commerce to administer the Restaurant Innovation Grants.
“Our restaurants have been hit hard by the pandemic and have been forced to make additional investments to make dining safer even while they’ve seen a decrease in business,” said Mayor James Mueller. “We’re all looking forward to the day when restaurants get back to pre-pandemic traffic, but in the meantime the City is working to help them weather this storm.”
The city says locally-owned restaurants within South Bend will be eligible for $2,000 grants to reimburse expenses. The expenses include installation of plexiglass, take-out services, and equipment to improve outdoor dining experiences during the winter.
“No industry has been hit harder than the restaurant industry, and some difficult days lie ahead for many of our local restaurants,” said Jeff Rea, president of the South Bend Regional Chamber of Commerce. “We’re grateful the City has recognized the challenges so many of these small businesses have faced and in response marshalled the resources to help provide a needed lifeline. We look forward to teaming up to deliver this program and to provide some immediate relief to so many important business partners.”
To qualify for grant support, the city says businesses must meet the criteria below:
- Restaurants or bars must be independently owned and/or headquartered and located within the city of South Bend
- Must have a business license with the city
- Must currently be open to the general public
- Must be able to submit up to a 250 word description of the investments or innovations made towards increasing the public’s safety and their employees, along with proofs in the form of pictures, receipts, or other evidence of your innovations
You can find more information on how to apply by clicking here.