Grant program for South Bend restaurants suffering effects of pandemic

Jon Zimney/95.3 MNC

The City of South Bend has opened applications for a new grant program designed to compensate local restaurants for operational changes they’ve made to do business amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“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.”

The City has partnered with the South Bend Regional Chamber of Commerce to administer the Restaurant Innovation Grant program. Locally owned restaurants located within South Bend will be eligible for $2,000 grants to reimburse expenses they’ve incurred to install plexiglass, pivot to take-out service, or purchase equipment to improve the outdoor dining experience during the winter months.

“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,” said Jeff Rea, President and CEO of the South Bend Regional Chamber of Commerce. “We look forward to teaming up to deliver this program and to provide some immediate relief to so many important business partners.”

To qualify for grant support, businesses must meet the following criteria:

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

To apply, visit

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