Applications are now closed.
In response to continued social distancing mandates, we recognize that 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.
As we move into colder weather, Lynchburg City Council allocated a portion of the grant funding provided to the City through the federal CARES Act to provide reimbursement to local businesses who have expanded outdoor dining areas to accommodate social distancing requirements. Items included to be considered for reimbursement include: freestanding tents or coverings, other outdoor dining items if not already owned and in use, including tables, chairs, cushions, heaters (no open flames) and types of lighting. The grants are first-come, first served and are reimbursement based.
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. We’re 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 September 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.
- Equipment must have been purchased after March 1, 2020 and must be for the purpose of extending outdoor dining season.
- The maximum amount of reimbursement is $1,000 (business will be required to provide proof of purchase documentation after March 1)
- Fuel is not included in heaters provided or in reimbursement costs
- Grants will be distributed on a first come, first serve basis
- Items included for reimbursement consideration are as follows:
- Free-standing tents or coverings
- Outdoor heaters
- Seating and tables, including cushions
- Outdoor lighting
- Other applicable items with proof of purchase after March 1, 2020
Where do I find an expense report?
You may download the expense report for reimbursement here: Winterization Reimbursement Form
Are there restrictions or requirements on what is included?
Restrictions and requirements are as follows:
- The City of Lynchburg does not require additional permitting for the operation of outdoor heaters.
- Per the Fire Marshall, heaters should be operated per manufacturers’ instructions, should not be placed under canopies or tents and should be placed at least 15’ feet away from the building point of egress.
- Open flames (as in fire pits, etc.) are not included in what may be reimbursed
- Items that are attached to the building, i.e. fixed awnings or tents, are not included in what may be reimbursed.