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Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced a $10 million grant program for restaurants, bars and their employees that have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The announcement comes nearly one week after new restrictions on restaurants and bars took effect in the city. Those same restrictions are now in place across Illinois due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases.

As part of the restrictions, indoor service for bars and restaurants is banned and outdoor service must end by 11 p.m.

Bars and restaurants can sell alcohol until 11 p.m. and alcohol can be sold at liquor stores and grocery stores until 9 p.m.

  • The grant program will be funded by a reallocation of CARES Act funds from the Chicago Small Business Resiliency Fund.
  • Bars and restaurants must have an annual revenue under $3 million and experienced economic stress due to COVID 19 with a loss of at least 25% of annual revenue after March 1 in order to be eligible.
  • Regional and national chains with more than two total locations are not eligible, as well as adult entertainment facilities.
  • The money that bars and restaurants receive must go to operational costs, including payroll expenses, inventory, mortgage or rent and utilities payments.

The city will begin accepting applications the week of November 16, with more details to be released at a later date.

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