Rockford waiving permit fees to allow bars and restaurants to have outdoor dining areas

Local News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara said the city will be waiving permit fees for bars and restaurants who set up outdoor dining areas, and working with those establishments to help, including allowing dining areas in both public and private lots.

McNamara said the city is also suspending liquor license approval process for existing license holders to create outdoor seating areas.

The City is also making $500,000 available to micro-enterprises (with 1-5 employees) and sole proprietors through an application portal which will be available at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, May 26th through 5 p.m. on Friday, May 29th via the city’s website.

Winnebago County Board Chairman Frank Haney asked residents to have patience with businesses as they reopen under new guidelines.

“You may go back to businesses that are very different than they were the last time you visited,” Haney said.

These guidelines will include capacity limits and reservation-only services in some cases.

Haney said 8 people have died of COVID-19 within the last 3 days, bringing the county’s death total to 52.

The county is reporting 36 new cases of coronavirus on Thursday, for a total of 1,684 so far.

Although no new “places of concern” were added Thursday, but currently Alden Alma Nelson Manor, Amberwood Care Centre, Anam Care, The Atrium, Crimson Pointe, Forest City Rehab and Nursing, Fairhaven Christian Retirment Center, Forest City Rehab and Nursing, Goldie B Floberg Center, Lincolnshire Place, Luther Center, Milestone, River Bluff Nursing Home, Robert Webb Terrace, Rock River Health Care, Rockford Rescue Mission, Rosecrance Griffin Williamson Campus, St. Anne Ascension Living, Stepping Stones of Rockford, Van Matre and the Winnebgo County Jail have all reported cases.

In Illinois, 1.2 million filed in past 11 weeks. More than 2,900 people in the Rockford region have filed for unemployment.

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