LYNCHBURG, Va. – Love eating outside, but not so in the cold? Lynchburg is looking to prevent that this winter.
Lynchburg’s Economic Development and Tourism department launched a ‘Winterization’ campaign. City officials purchased 50 heaters to give to qualifying restaurants to make outdoor dining feasible during the upcoming winter months.
Lynchburg City Council has allocated a portion of the grant funding provided to the city through the federal CARES Act to provide heaters, or reimbursement of up to $1,000 for heaters already purchased, to local businesses with outdoor dining areas.
“We know that the restaurant industry has been one of the hardest hit from the COVID-19 pandemic and recognize the logistical and cost issues associated with adding outdoor seating,” said Lynchburg’s Director of Economic Development & Tourism Marjette Upshur. “We are offering this program as a way to help mitigate those costs and to encourage patrons to continue frequenting their favorite local food and drink establishments in a way that is safe, despite colder temperatures.”
Here are the 4 requirements for business applying for a heater or reimbursement:
- Be physically located within Lynchburg city limits
- Be an establishment that sells food and/or drink for consumption on-premises
- Be current on all city taxes, fully licensed and permitted as of March 1, 2020, and currently open for business
- Be a for-profit business.
Any business interested in acquiring a heater needs to complete an application form.
“You can either request up to four heaters for your restaurant or, if you’ve already purchased heaters, we will reimburse those costs up to $1,000. You just have to provide documentation that you did purchase those heaters within the last six months or so,” said Anna Bentson, assistant director of Lynchburg’s Economic Development & Tourism.
For those seeking reimbursement, equipment must have been purchased after March 1 and must be for the purpose of extending outdoor dining season.
Restaurants may request a maximum of four heaters.
Fuel is not included in heaters provided or in reimbursement costs.
As there is a limited supply of heaters and funding, grants will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis.