Loudoun County joins other Virginia jurisdictions in extending some aid to restaurants that are looking to winterize their outdoor dining spaces and keep those outdoor tables warm enough to keep diners coming.
Loudoun County Economic Development said the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors allocated $250,000 of CARES Act funding to restaurants to offset costs associated with outdoor dining, including tents, heating systems and fuel.
The Loudoun is Ready Outdoor Seating Grant program is now open for applications, and aims to provide $5,000 in funding to about 50 businesses. Applications are being considered on a first-come, first-served basis.
In order for a business to qualify, it must be a for-profit business operating a restaurant, winery, brewery, distillery or tasting room in Loudoun County. It must be permitted or approved for outdoor seating. It must not have not received funding for similar expenses from any of the incorporated towns in Loudoun County.
In October, the City of Fairfax made available $300,000 in micro grants of $3,000 each for up to 100 restaurants available for winterizing their outdoor dining spaces. D.C. made grants of up to $6,000 available for the same needs to independently-owned restaurants.
It may be easier for businesses to get these grants than it is for them to actually get the patio heaters they want. As WTOP has reported, suppliers say patio heaters are in short supply because of high demand.
To date, Loudoun County has distributed more than $11.5 million in CARES Act funds though five previous grant programs to nearly 2,000 businesses.