ROCHESTER, Minn. - While true winter is a couple months away the colder temperatures are prompting businesses to figure out how to keep customers warm while still abiding by pandemic guidelines.
The Rochester Downtown Alliance and Chamber of Commerce are working to provide grant funds for all restaurants, not just the ones located downtown.
Chamber president Kathleen Harrington says $2,000 grants are being handed out to businesses looking to keep outdoor dining options but reinvent spaces to keep customers warm.
Options being considered include heating lamps and igloo structures which would require a fast track permitting process through the city.
Harrington says it's vital businesses receive grant funds to keep customers coming to local restaurants during the slow season.
"I'm really encouraged by people's desire, businesses' desire, to really find new ways to promote their own business, to meet their own needs and to continue to function," she said. "I mean this is critical."
Harrington says there's roughly $44,000 total in grant funds available to businesses.