Loudoun restaurants and beverage establishments are encouraged to apply for a grant that can help keep their customers comfortable in the forthcoming winter months, as outdoor seating continues to be the more attractive option in the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Loudoun Department of Economic Development announced Thursday that the Board of Supervisors has allocated $250,000 of CARES Act funding of CARES Act funding for grants intended to offset the costs associated with outdoor seating, including tents, heating systems and heating fuel.
The new Loudoun Is Ready Outdoor Seating Grant program, which will open at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 24, is designed to provide up to $5,000 in funding to approximately 50 businesses. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis and the application window will close once it becomes apparent that the funds have been awarded.
Businesses are encouraged to apply that can demonstrate the following:
- That they are a for-profit business operating a restaurant, winery, brewery, distillery or tasting room that is located in Loudoun County;
- That they are permitted or approved for outdoor seating, and have incurred costs since March 1, for a tent, heater and/or ongoing expenses such as heater fuel;
- That they have not received funding for similar expenses from any of the incorporated towns in Loudoun.
“With the winter months right around the corner and COVID-19 cases on the rise, Loudoun restaurants and craft beverage businesses are doing everything they can to maintain sales and keep customers safe. This is one, very important way in which Loudoun County is supporting our business community during the ongoing health pandemic,” stated Loudoun Economic Development Executive Director Buddy Rizer. “We salute the resiliency of our businesses and understand that this money goes a long way toward their ultimate survival.”
The timeline for the outdoor seating grant is accelerated, in part, because of the deadline for localities to disburse CARES Act funding by the end of the year, or return it to the federal government. Businesses will be evaluated on a first-come, first-serve fashion until funds are expended. In order to market the grant and properly verify applicant information, Loudoun Economic Development will work with Visit Loudoun, as well as Loudoun Building and Development, the Loudoun Fire Marshal, and the incorporated towns.
The grant program is similar to a CARES fund initiative organized by the Town of Leesburg, where town-based eating and beverage establishments that offer outdoor seating can apply for up to $2,500 in reimbursable grants for the purchase or rental of heat lamps; and up to $5,000 for the purchase or rental of tents.
To learn more about the Loudoun County outdoor seating grants or apply, go to LoudounBusinessFund.org.