Grant program will help Truckee restaurants
The town of Truckee is offering a grant program for restaurants wishing to extend outdoor dining through the winter in support of COVID-19 rules.
On Oct. 13, the restaurant resiliency grant application period closed with 27 applications received, including 20 from the downtown business district and seven from other areas within the town.
This grant program is a component of the Truckee Winter Wonderland program, a partnership between Truckee, Truckee Downtown Merchants Association, Truckee Chamber, and Sierra Business Council to keep Truckee’s downtown and business districts vibrant and successful throughout the coming winter.
There was significant collaboration and coordination between these community partners in the planning and development of these micro business grants and the safe activation of the downtown area. It is a partnership and collective effort that previous Acting Town Manager Dan Wilkins stated, “Showed coordination and was extremely positive, with an expectation that it will continue into the winter.”
Truckee recently received a $400,000 CARES Act Economic & Community Resiliency Grant from Nevada County to fund the downtown portion of this program and provide enhanced holiday lighting. Truckee Town Council has approved additional funding to extend outdoor dining support throughout Truckee.
Vice Mayor Anna Klovstad commented at the Oct. 13 Truckee Town Council meeting that she was encouraged to hear that businesses outside of the downtown area were also interested in perusing this opportunity stating, “We want to look communitywide as best as we can.”
Hilary Hobbs, management analyst for Truckee, explained that, “Funding will provide enhanced holiday lighting, including expanding into some areas we haven’t lit up in the past, the continuation of winterized outdoor dining, and some additional creative elements downtown to create a festive and safe space for our community to enjoy and support all of our local businesses.”
In speaking about town staff coordination, Dan Wilkins emphasized that, “All departments had a hand in creating this program and trying to come up with something that made sense, not only from an economic development standpoint but also from a public health standpoint.”
He continued by noting, “What we saw this summer was higher than historic levels of visitation and we have no reason to believe that we won’t have the same trend this winter, especially with increased interest from the public, and an emphasis on outdoor activity from public health officials. It may not be on the ski slopes, but perhaps enjoying other winter activities closer to our downtown area. Part of the thinking is that, by providing some incentives to restaurants to try to operate outdoors in winter, we encourage and support more options for outdoor dining overall. This not only increases their capacity, with the limits of indoor space depending on the state tier we are in, but is also supporting a better public health equation.”
The Truckee Town Council was unified in its support and excitement for this grant program. Council member Tony Commendatore commented, “It’s going to be an interesting winter this year, but hopefully it will make it an exciting one.”
Source: Town of Truckee
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