Grants for outdoor covered structures forthcoming
Ever since the first lockdown of the COVID-19 pandemic, when businesses were asked to close or at least not offer indoor seating, the city of Sandy has been trying to provide relief in anyway possible.
So far, city council has offered two rounds of $3,000 grants for businesses, and now the city is working on a program akin to the existing Façade Improvement Program to help businesses purchase covered structures for outdoor seating. This aims to help businesses operate outdoor seating while under COVID-19 restrictions and provide long-term amenities for the community.
In this program, the Urban Renewal Agency will pay for project costs up front. Businesses will reimburse the city for 20% of the expenses, either within 30 days or according to an installment plan, up to a total cost of $100,000.
"We've got to really develop a focus on our local Main Street businesses and provide support to them," Mayor Stan Pulliam said previously. "We're already seeing the developing effects of the governor's COVID response on local businesses and that will continue to vibrate through. (The outdoor dining grant funding) will be a long-term plus for our neighbors to have outdoor covered dining in years in the future."
The application process has yet to begin, but multiple business owners have already expressed interest.
"It's the pandemic that really got this moving and made it so urgent," said Dave Snider, economic development manager. "Outdoor dining is something I've heard from a lot of people as something they want. This is a great way to propagate that and it increases occupancy for some businesses."
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