PHOENIX⁠ — Gov. Doug Ducey has announced an additional $2 million to further help local restaurants and other dining establishments expand outdoor dining, protect patrons and staff, and limit the spread of COVID-19.

“Arizona restaurant owners and their employees have worked diligently to serve patrons and limit the spread of COVID-19,” said Ducey. “Many restaurants have utilized outdoor dining to welcome more customers while maintaining safety, and we want to make sure our local restaurants have the opportunity to expand their outdoor seating. I’m grateful to the restaurant owners and employees who have gone above and beyond to safely serve Arizonans.”

In addition to more funding for restaurants, Ducey last month issued an Executive Order easing red tape on outdoor dining, helping restaurants expand seating outdoors on a temporary basis.

The latest funding will recapitalize the Safest Outside Restaurant Assistance Program, launched last month by the governor to fund up to $10,000 per restaurant for items they need to extend their outdoor dining premise, including outdoor furniture, barriers, patio heaters, patio covers, and more. So far, 265 Arizona restaurants have applied to the program and 114 have received funding totaling $1 million. The additional funding will continue the program to support additional outdoor restaurant expansions.

"Beaver Street Brewery has used our grant to add nine tables in our parking lot to increase our outdoor seating," said owner Kelly Hanseth who received $10,000 from the program for her establishment in Flagstaff.

Grants will continue to be awarded on a rolling basis to eligible businesses that have been approved for a new extension of premises and submit complete applications. Eligible applicants include Arizona owned and operated restaurants and dining establishments that demonstrate a new extension of premises that has been approved by the local governing body and the Arizona Department of Liquor, if applicable. Eligible applicants must plan to extend the premises for a minimum of three months, employ fewer than 50 full-time equivalent employees, and operate in compliance with COVID-19-related executive orders.

The $2 million comes from the state’s Crisis Contingency and Safety Net Fund, a bipartisan budget agreement signed by the governor that added $50 million for Arizona’s COVID-19 response.

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