“Restaurants throughout the state have expanded outdoor dining to welcome more customers while limiting the spread of COVID-19,” Ducey said in a news release. “We want to make sure more of our hard-working local restaurants have the opportunity to do the same. Today’s funding will help restaurants purchase items like outdoor furniture and barriers so they can safely serve patrons. I’m grateful to the businesses across Arizona working to protect our communities and keep our economy moving forward.”
The funding will be directed to pending applications submitted to the Safest Outside Restaurant Assistance Program, which launched in December to support local restaurants.
Ducey announced an initial investment of $1 million for the program Dec. 2 and an additional $2 million on Jan. 5.
Funding has been provided to nearly all eligible businesses that have been approved for an extension of premises, according to the governor's office. To be eligible, applicants must comply with all COVID-19-related executive orders; demonstrate a new extension of premises that has been approved by the local governing body and the Arizona Department of Liquor, if applicable; plan to extend the premises for a minimum of three months; have fewer than 50 employees; be Arizona-owned and -operated, and more.
The $1 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, according to the governor's office.