Keeping Your Restaurants Open This Winter

by Shylo Bisnett, on October 29, 2020 at 10:49 AM

Shift your staff's focus to help save local bars and restaurants

As temperatures start dropping, restaurateurs and bar owners are getting nervous. Spring and summer were tough, but many municipalities loosened restrictions and entrepreneurs responded with creative tents, beer gardens, parking-lot dining rooms, parklets, and other creative reuse plans.

However, what’s going to happen in a few weeks?


Fanciful or Practical: What’s Your Municipality’s Path

Chicago opened its doors to winter-dining suggestions from across the country during a recent content judged by the City and a design firm. More than 600 artists, architects, and designers submitted ideas to compete for a $5,000. The three winning designs (a cabin based on ice-fishing traditions, a heated Japanese-style table, and stackable cubes) will be built, with assistance from the Illinois Restaurant Association and private partners.

In the nearby suburb of Glenview, the village recently discussed less exotic, more commonsense solutions. A town meeting detailed very specific requirements around outdoor dining, such as regulations about heater types, tent sizes, barricades, and electrical requirements.

Some municipalities, such as New Castle County in Delaware, are coming up with creative solutions using CARES dollars. Recently, the County, along with local NGOs, developed a grant program to help eateries get outfitted with winter equipment, such as heaters, tents, and outdoor tables and chairs. Up to $5,000 is available per restaurant. 

These approaches are necessary to help restaurants survive during this unprecedented time. However, not every community can manage a nationwide design contest and many municipalities lack the resources to even think through basic practicalities.

Free Up Staff and Provide Hands-On Help

Right now, it’s all hands on deck to keep the business community humming along. Entrepreneurs like restaurant and bar owners are responding to these times with innovation and creativity, but municipalities still need to provide oversight. More employee time is needed to review applications and follow up with restaurateurs because delays mean lost profits—or closed doors.

One way to carve out additional employee time for higher-value activities is through the adoption of cloud-based computing solutions, such as secure online tax filing and payment systems. When constituents can track and remit taxes online, employees are spared from the hassle of manual processing. Instead of slicing open envelopes and manually entering data into spreadsheets, municipal staff can be reallocated to special projects, such as aiding the small-business community with winter-dining initiatives.

Localgov offers local governments an easy-to-use online filing and payment system that’s quick to implement. Soon, constituents will be remitting taxes and fees online in just a few clicks. An added benefit is that funds are available almost immediately for use by government. No more waiting for checks to clear.

Reach Out to the Localgov Team

Our staff is ready to speak with your community about how Localgov can augment your staff’s potential while also offering convenience for taxpayers. Right now, it’s more important than ever to maximize every hour—and every dollar. An investment in Localgov is a great way to continue that commitment.

Book a 15-minute call today.