Middleburg purchased thousands of restaurant vouchers from town restaurants and has distributed them to residents to spend as the Virginia town deals with the coronavirus pandemic.
Middleburg bought 500 vouchers, worth $20 each, from each of the 13 restaurants participating. They are good to use through the end of April.
The vouchers will provide each restaurant with up to $10,000.
Those restaurants meet certain criteria, including serving at least two meal periods a day —breakfast and lunch or lunch and dinner — must be open at least four days a week and remain open through April 30.
Both businesses and residents in Middleburg are getting a break on utilities as well.
The town extended a grace period on utility bill payments for up to 60 days, and is providing a $200 credit on that utility bill for every business and residential customer.
The cost to the town of Middleburg for both the restaurant vouchers and the utility credits is $182,000.
“We’ve worked hard over the last several years to build a substantial rainy-day fund in Middleburg,” Mayor Trowbridge Littleton said.
“The goal with this fund was that, in a time of true hardship, we would be in a position to help our residents and businesses in a meaningful way, which is exactly what we are now doing.”
Middleburg is using town funds to support other retail businesses through a program to reimburse participating businesses for 50% of any discount off the retail price of merchandise or services sold to customers. The limit on the cash reimbursement is $3,750 per business.
The economic stimulus is significant for Middleburg, which has an annual municipal budget of just $3 million.
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