COVID-19 Sidewalk Café Expansion Grant
The COVID-19 Sidewalk Café Expansion Grant program is in response to the Mayor’s amended emergency order regarding bars and restaurants during the COVID-19 pandemic. This grant is aimed at assisting downtown bars and restaurants during this time with fixtures, furniture, and equipment (FFE) for additional outdoor pedestrian space through expansion of street-level sidewalk cafés.
The maximum amount of grant funding a business may receive, based on review and approval by a subcommittee appointed by the City of Rochester, is $2,000. Funds will be provided upfront and matching funds are not required.
Use of Grant Funds
Funds may be used towards the following items:
- Sidewalk café furniture
- Umbrellas, awnings, or tents
- Please note: these items may not display any branding or logos
- Sidewalk café landscaping (plants, dirt, etc.)
- Sidewalk café signage
- Sidewalk café trash receptacles
- ADA compliant ramps from sidewalks to street
- Decals or other materials to mark out physical distancing
- Labor to build any sidewalk café structures
- Building materials (lumber, stain, paint, etc.)
- The applying business must be located within the Special Services District (SSD).
- Applicants must be approved for a Sidewalk Café permit by the City of Rochester City Clerk's Office.
- Applicant must comply with all municipal and state codes and regulations; permitting must be secured prior to grant fund dispersal.
- Grant applications will be approved between June 1, 2020 and July 31, 2020 (or as funding remains available).
How to Apply
- Before applying for the grant, please contact the City Clerk's office to apply for a Sidewalk Cafe Permit. Verification of an approved sidewalk cafe permit will be required prior to grant funds being dispersed.
- Review the COVID-19 Sidewalk Cafe Expansion Grant Guidelines for eligibility information.
- Apply online here or download the paper application here. Paper applications may be submitted to email@example.com when completed.
- Grant application period is open until July 31, 2020, or as funding remains available.
- If you are interested in building a structure with decking, first contact Molly Patterson-Lundgren, Heritage Preservation and Urban Design Coordinator with the City of Rochester, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (507) 328-2956.
Questions and completed application materials for the COVID-19 Sidewalk Café Expansion Grant may be directed to Karli McElroy, Senior Director of Placemaking for the Rochester Downtown Alliance (RDA) at email@example.com or (507) 216-9882 between 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.