Restaurants hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic can start applying January 11 for money through the “Raising the NYS Bar Restaurant Recovery Fund.

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Grants of up to $5,000 to support full-service restaurants are being made available at esd.ny.gov/raising-nys-bar-recovery-fund.  There is about $3-million in the fund to help the industry that has been one of the hardest-hit by the pandemic.

Some restauranteurs said they hoped to use the money to pay for things like outdoor heaters to help them extend their outdoor dining season.

Throughout the pandemic, restaurants have been hit with ever-changing regulations starting with total shut-down to being able to open for take-out only, dining outside, dining inside with one limit on the number of tables to another limit on the number of tables, limits on the number of people who can be seated at a table and regulations on the service of food if drinks are served.

Many restaurants have tried to adapt but have been forced to let servers go or to close entirely since the revenue from take-out business or sidewalk dining has been insufficient to cover operating costs.

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