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 the cost a bar or restaurant deems necessary to stay open. The city recommends that companies use the funds to ensure COVID security, for example to buy PPE.
Companies that use the funds provided must remain open for at least five days and 25 hours per week. Bars and restaurants must also offer guests a discount on food or drinks.
Mayor John Cranley says supporting bars and restaurants will do “very good things” to the communities they live in.
“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.
Andrew Salzbrun, owner of Nation Kitchen and Bar, said the program gives hope to Westwood business.
“We have a big fight ahead of us in the next few months, but we are very confident that we will make it,” said Salzbrun. “We’re excited to be part of not only this Westwood community, but also this town that we call Hometown.”
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 shown no significant penetration in restaurants.
“It was my personal experience that the restaurants are safe and I feel safe going to the restaurants and will continue to do so,” said Cranley. “However, if you listen to this and have comorbidities and other problems, you have to make the best decision for yourself and your family.”
Research by the CDC found that adults with COVID-19 were twice as likely to eat at restaurants. Cincinnati’s positivity rate is currently 2.7%.