Client Alerts Mayor Lightfoot Announces Grants and Other Emergency Relief for Chicago Restaurants and Bars

Publication
11.17.20 | By: Robert Swenson

On November 5, Mayor Lightfoot announced several initiatives designed to help Chicago restaurants and bars — and their workers — that have been hit hard by closures, reduced capacity limits and other measures taken to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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On November 5, Mayor Lightfoot announced several initiatives designed to help Chicago restaurants and bars — and their workers — that have been hit hard by closures, reduced capacity limits and other measures taken to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. These initiatives include:

The Chicago Hospitality Grant Program
The Chicago Hospitality Grant Program will use $10 million in reallocated CARES Act funds to make grants of $10,000 each to eligible restaurants and bars. To qualify for a grant, a restaurant or bar must have less than $3 million in annual revenue and must have experienced COVID-19-related losses, on or after March 1, 2020, totaling at least 25% of annual net revenue. Regional or national chains with more than two establishments (in total), as well as adult entertainment facilities, are ineligible.

The funds must be used for operating costs, including:

  • Payroll;
  • Inventory replenishment; and
  • Mortgage, rent and utility payments.

Grants will be distributed via lottery, with 60% of the funds reserved for businesses in low- and moderate-income community areas. Applications will be accepted beginning the week of November 16. 

Proposed Cap on Delivery Fees
The mayor will work with the City Council to pass legislation temporarily capping the fees third-party delivery companies may charge restaurants and bars for their services.

Take Out Chicago Contest
The city of Chicago is launching the Take Out Chicago contest to encourage Chicagoans to support restaurants and bars during this difficult time. Entrants who order takeout from ten different establishments between November 5 and December 15 will have a chance to win VIP tours for themselves and three family members at some of Chicago’s premier cultural institutions, including the Art Institute, DuSable Museum, Lincoln Park Zoo and Soldier Field.

ChiServes.com 
This portal provides job listings, networking opportunities, career coaching and other resources for hospitality workers who have lost their jobs.

For more information about the Chicago Hospitality Grant Program and other assistance available for hospitality businesses, please contact Rob Swenson at rswenson@orba.com or 312.670.7444. Visit ORBA.com to learn more about our Restaurant Group.

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