South Bend announces grant to help local restaurants and bars during the pandemic

In an effort to address the needs of locally-owned businesses contending with the pandemic, the city of South Bend has partnered with the Chamber of Commerce to administer the Restaurant Innovation Grant program.

Locally-owned restaurants located within South Bend are eligible to apply for compensation based on operational changes that were necessary to do business during the COVID-19 pandemic. These changes could include expenses such as installing plexiglass, transitioning to take-out or delivery-only service, or purchasing outdoor equipment to improve the outdoor dining experience during winter months.

“Our restaurants have been hit hard by the pandemic and have been forced to make additional investments to make dining safer even while they’ve seen a decrease in business,” said Mayor James Mueller. “We’re all looking forward to the day when restaurants get back to pre-pandemic traffic, but in the meantime the city is working to help them weather this storm.”

“No industry has been hit harder than the restaurant industry, and some difficult days lie ahead for many of our local restaurants. We’re grateful the city has recognized the challenges so many of these small businesses have faced and in response marshalled the resources to help provide a needed lifeline,” adds Jeff Rea, President and CEO of the South Bend Regional Chamber of Commerce.

To qualify for the $2,000 grant, businesses must meet the following criteria:

  • Restaurants or bars must be independently owned and/or headquartered and located within South Bend.
  • Eligible businesses must have a business license with the city and be open to the general public.
  • Submit up to a 250-word description of the investments or innovations made towards increasing the public’s and their employees’ safety, along with proof in the form of pictures, receipts, or other evidence of your innovations.

To apply, visit

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