The City of Lynchburg has opened applications for a restaurant winterization program and will purchase or reimburse eligible businesses for heaters for outdoor dining. The program will be administered by the Office of Economic Development & Tourism.
In response to continued social distancing mandates, many restaurants have had to create or expand outdoor dining areas to increase customer capacity and serve safely. To assist with this, the City of Lynchburg has modified zoning requirements to allow for additional seating in the form of expanded dining areas, use of public space and temporary or permanent parklet permits.
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 for heaters already purchased) to local businesses with outdoor dining areas. The City of Lynchburg has purchased a total of 50 heaters, and they will be dispersed on a first-come, first-serve basis for eligible applicants.
“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 Marjette Upshur, Director of Economic Development & Tourism. “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.”
To be eligible, businesses must meet the following criteria:
- Be physically located in the City of Lynchburg
- 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. This information will be verified by the Commissioner of the Revenue.
- Be a for-profit business.
- Complete an application form, certify that all answers are true and accurate, and agree to the application’s terms and conditions.
- For those seeking reimbursement, equipment must have been purchased after
March 1, 2020 and must be for the purpose of extending outdoor dining season.
The deadline to apply is Friday, December 4, 2020. Full details and the online application are available at www.opportunitylynchburg.com/winterization/