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Mayor Lightfoot Announces $10 Million Chicago Hospitality Grant Program

November 9, 2020 by Reece Nations

CHICAGO – Mayor Lori Lightfoot unveiled an emergency coronavirus relief program for restaurants and bars in Chicago that are still grappling with the effects of the pandemic. 

The grant program will reallocate $10 million in CARES Act funds to businesses impacted by “state-imposed mitigation measures,” Lightfoot said. Grants in the amount of $10,000 will be made available to restaurants and bars that have been affected by the state’s recent closure of indoor service. 

“As we navigate the second surge of COVID-19, I am committed to using every available resource to its maximum potential to protect our residents and support our businesses,” Lightfoot said in a statement. “Our hospitality industry is at a crossroads and we each have a role to play in helping our bars and restaurants survive.” 

Lightfoot’s statement continued, “This city relief package will help, but we still need all residents to wear a mask, social distance, avoid gathering in large groups and wash their hands. When we all do our part to bring cases down, we not only save lives but also ensure that our businesses can reopen quickly and safely.” 

As of Nov. 6, Chicago sits at 112,473 cumulative cases, according to Chicago.gov. The city’s weekly rolling positivity rate average was 11.3% as of Nov. 1. 

Restaurant employees can apply for a grant through the Restaurant Employee Relief Fund website, according to a release from Lightfoot’s press office. 

Lightfoot also disclosed the initiation of “ChiServes.com” an online portal for hospitality workers to obtain workforce development support resources. In addition, Lightfoot announced she will appeal to Chicago City Council with legislation that would temporarily cap the fees third-party companies are permitted to charge restaurants for delivery services. 

“We’re very concerned about the continued rise in COVID cases in the city but we all know what it takes to bend the curve – we did it once and we can do it again,” Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said. “Until then, we all need to do what we can to support this industry and the vital jobs it provides.”  

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