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City of Cleveland announces programs to assist small businesses with COVID-19 challenges, outdoor dining

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Posted at 3:58 PM, Nov 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-08 21:38:01-05

CLEVELAND — The City of Cleveland announced that the Economic Development Department has created programs to assist small businesses as they continue to face challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Two new programs, the Emergency Working Capital Program and the Winter Restaurant Operations Support Grant, will allow small businesses in Cleveland to apply for thousands in grant dollars to help create safe, healthy environments in order to continue operations amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which is becoming more challenging with winter on the way.

As part of the Emergency Working Capital Program, businesses whose operations have been specifically impacted by COVID-19 and that have had to take “exceptional measures” to stay open during the pandemic can apply for a $10,000 loan and a $10,000 grant, according to the city.

The $10,000 loans will be distributed for working capital and operations costs, while the $10,000 grants will be distributed to offset costs of personal protective equipment and other safety measures, the city said.

Businesses can also apply for the Winter Restaurant Operations Support Grant to help offer safe outdoor dining experiences through the winter season.

The program will allocate a total of $500,000, with each business receiving up to $5,000, helping to purchase or rent equipment such as heaters and fire pits, and fixtures such as awnings, tents and heated igloos, according to the city.

In order to receive the Winter Restaurant Operations Support Grant, businesses must be able to show a plan for a location and an operations plan for winter outdoor dining.

The deadline to apply for the Winter Restaurant Operations Support Grant is Nov. 30 and awards are expected to be announced before Dec. 11.

To learn more about the small business grants and loans, click here.