City Of South Bend Offers Grants To Restaurants That Have Innovated To Stay Open During The Pandemic

Jan 29, 2021

Credit Gemma DiCarlo / WVPE Public Radio

The City of South Bend and the South Bend Regional Chamber of Commerce announced a new grant program on Jan. 29 for local restaurants and bars.

South Bend Mayor James Mueller said the $2,000 Restaurant Innovation grants are meant to help local restaurants offset the cost of making their facilities pandemic-safe.


“They’re being asked to innovate and invest in new things like igloos, barriers," he said. "We want our local small businesses to know that we’re here for them and we’re gonna do whatever we can as a city.”


A spokesperson for the city said the grant money was freed up after the federal government allowed CARES Act dollars to be spent on local public saftey expenses, like police and fire department salaries.


In order to qualify, restaurants and bars have to be independently owned, located in South Bend and open to the general public. They also have to have a business license on file with the city and be able to provide proof of innovations made toward COVID-safety.


Mueller estimates about 250 South Bend businesses meet those qualifications, and said the city can award grants to all 250 if they apply.


Applications for the Restaurant Innovation grants are now live on the city’s website.


Contact Gemma at or follow her on Twitter at @gemma_dicarlo.


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