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City of ABQ offering grants for businesses to build outdoor dining

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The city of Albuquerque is offering grants to restaurants, cafes and breweries in order for them to create or expand outdoor dining and patio spaces in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The state’s public health orders currently bar indoor dining in order to slow the spread of the virus.

According to a news release from Mayor’s Office spokeswoman Jessie Damazyn, the Economic Development Department will work with other city departments to identify and provide financial support – ranging from $2,500 to $10,000 – to local restaurants and other businesses that want to expand their outdoor dining options. She said there is a total of $200,000 available from funding provided by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act. According to the city’s website, eligible businesses will be chosen through a lottery system.

Businesses will be able to expand into public sidewalks, parklets (an extension of the sidewalk into a parking space), private parking lots, and limited street closures, Damazyn wrote in the release.

“For local restaurants, cafes and breweries, this isn’t just a question of getting through a couple months of restrictions anymore, this is about bracing for the long haul,” Mayor Tim Keller said in the release. “We’re helping give these local business a little bit bigger margin to stay afloat with our new grant program to build outdoor dining space, including tent rental or purchase. We already waived permitting and inspection fees to expand outdoor seating, and now locally owned restaurants can get thousands in funding to build out their patios on sidewalks, parklets and some targeted street closures.”

To learn more about the outdoor dining grant program, visit the city’s website.

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