Rockford, Illinois News

City of Rockford announces pandemic relief for hospitality industry

ROCKFORD — Grant funds for the hospitality industry are now available through the City of Rockford, Mayor Tom McNamara announced Wednesday.

The $900,000 Hospitality Grant Program targets Rockford’s restaurants and bars that continue to face significant challenges due to the COVID-19 crisis. Opening for applications this week, the grant program will reallocate CARES Act funding to supplement state and federal relief programs with grants of up to $7,500 to independent bars and restaurants throughout the City that have been adversely impacted by COVID-19 and the state’s mitigation measures.

Restaurants and bars will receive an application from the city. Funds will be awarded in mid-December.

“We understand that the pandemic and related mitigation efforts have had a devastating impact on our hospitality industry,” McNamara said. “This new grant program is one way to help lessen the pain, but we know it is not enough. We all need to our part to bring down cases by wearing a mask, social distancing, avoiding gatherings and washing hands frequently.”

McNamara said the new grant is one of several measures the city has taken to local companies during the pandemic. Among those are a $820,000 in grant funding for small businesses, permit-free outdoor seating in private parking lots, sidewalks, public lots and alleys; a 50-percent rebate in liquor licenses; and a deferment of hotel, food, and beverage taxes.

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