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Restaurant grant looks to help downtown grow

T-R photo by Thomas Nelson A downtown Marshalltown restaurant displays a sign declaring the facility is open. The Marshalltown Central Business District is providing downtown restaurants with a grant to help with the COVID-19 pandemic recovery.

The Marshalltown Central Business District wants to help restaurants impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The MCBD has created a COVID-19 Restaurant Relief Grant which is available for downtown Marshalltown restaurants. Grant applications are open from June 19 to August 14, or until the funding is exhausted.

The funds are aimed to support reopening and continued investment in restaurants in the downtown district.

The grant comes as downtown businesses continue recovering from the 2018 tornado that tore through the district.

Following the tornado, many businesses were closed for months, while the downtown worked to clear the debris from the streets, regain utilities and repair buildings along with everything else that needed to be addressed to reopen in a safe environment.

The district businesses were still recovering, when on March 17, Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a proclamation to close bars and restaurants to the public. Some restaurants began carry-out services, though some found that business model difficult to sustain and decided to temporarily close.

Eligible applicants for the grant are commercial food establishments where food is prepared, cooked and served for individual portion service and intended for consumption on the premises. The establishment must have been open as a restaurant prior to March 17.

Many restaurants are still closed to dine-in customers due to the expense and access to sanitation supplies.

Restaurant owners have to balance the price of supplies, increased sanitation demands, and the increased quantity of carry-out containers and individually sized packaging, while operating under conditions that has reduced their revenue.

Downtown Restaurants are encouraged to apply or receive additional information by contacting Marshalltown Central Business District, Executive Director, Deb Millizer either by phone 641-844-2001 or by email director at director@marshalltownmainstreet.org.

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