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COVID-19 Relief Funds Still Available For Local Restaurants

A table highlighting the available funds within Bloomington's Rapid Relief Fund.

Approximately $689,230 worth of funds remain available for businesses seeking financial help during the pandemic. (Courtesy: City of Bloomington)

Local businesses in the restaurant and tourism industry can still apply for COVID-19 loans through Bloomington’s Rapid Relief Fund.

The fund was established in April when city council approved taking $2 million out of the Food and Beverage Tax fund, and $350,000 from the Bloomington Urban Enterprise Association (BUEA).

READ MORE: City Council Approves $2M In Business Aid, Says More Might Be Necessary 

The city’s Assistant Director for Small Business Development Jane Kupersmith said there is still $583,400 available in Food and Beverage funds, and $105,830 in BUEA funds. 

She said those funds will remain available to businesses until at least Dec. 1. 

“The deadline is tied to the executive orders and because the executive orders go month-by-month, we can’t technically promise that the fund will be available beyond Dec. 1," Kupersmith said.

Kupersmith said businesses who want to apply should do so this month to ensure they have a better chance of receiving funds.

So far, 62 local businesses have taken advantage of the program as they try to stay afloat during the pandemic. 

Kupersmith shared a few testimonies from participating businesses in front of city council Wednesday night:

  • Btown Diner: "We wouldn't be here today without the city. The whole diner family gives thanks and appreciation for you moving quick to help the small businesses here in our home. We banned together to refresh the front of the house, caught up taxes and bills, and tried to get take out and delivery started."
  • By Hand Gallery: "If we had not received a PPP Grant and the City of Bloomington's Emergency Relief Loan, we would not have been able to survive the pandemic shutdown and subsequent slow down in customer traffic."
  • InBloom Juicery: "The original RRF loan helped us get through slower months when students were gone to continue paying our employees."

"I think it's very important as we show the data and the numbers that we're also putting a human face on these business owners," councilmember Susan Sandberg said.

For the latest news and resources about COVID-19, bookmark our Coronavirus In Indiana page here.

Want to contact your legislators about an issue that matters to you? Find out how to contact your senators and member of Congress here.

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