To help bars and restaurants during the COVID-19 pandemic, Cincinnati is launching a program to keep business up and running during the winter months.
The Taste of Cincinnati All Winter Long program allows restaurants to receive up to $ 10,000 for any expenses a bar or restaurant deems necessary to stay open. The city recommends that companies use the funds to ensure COVID safety, such as purchasing PPE.
Companies that use the money provided must stay open for at least five days and 25 hours per week. The bars and restaurants must also give their guests a discount on food or drinks.
Mayor John Cranley says supporting bars and restaurants will “bring tremendous goodness” to the communities in which they are located.
“The amount of money we’re going to have to spend if we lose all these bars and restaurants to catch up is going to take us years,” said Cranley.
Nation Kitchen and Bar owner Andrew Salzbrun said the program gives hope to the Westwood business.
“We have a big fight ahead of us in the next few months, but we are very confident that we can get through it,” said Salzbrun. “We’re excited to be part of not only this community of Westwood, but also a part of this town that we call home.”
This program started on the same day that Ohio reported the highest number of one-day hospital stays. Cranley said the city’s contract prosecution has not shown significant uptake across restaurants.
“I have personally seen that the restaurants are safe and that I feel safe going to the restaurants and will continue to do so,” said Cranley. “But if you listen to this and you have comorbidities and other problems, I think you have to make the best decision for you and your family.”
Research by the CDC shows that adults with COVID-19 are twice as likely to eat in restaurants. The Cincinnati positivity rate is currently 2.7%.