Oakland County Makes Financial Aid Available to Bars and Restaurants

The “Oakland Together Restaurant Relief Program” includes funding to help bars and restaurants set up outdoor dining options for winter.

Stock photo of inside a bar.

Oakland County is launching a restaurant relief program for dining establishments impacted by COVID-19 shutdowns, which have been extended through December 20. There’s $10 million available through the Oakland Together Restaurant Relief Program. 

$7 million is left over from the federal CARES Act and will be distributed among bars and restaurants that previously applied for those funds. The remaining $3 million comes from Oakland County’s general fund and is available to all eateries.

“We desperately still need another round of federal relief like the CARES Act we got in the spring.” — Dave Coulter, Oakland County Executive

Oakland Executive Dave Coulter says there’s still a need for more assistance.

“This isn’t going to get our bars and restaurants through to the spring for instance,” says Coulter. “We desperately still need another round of federal relief like the CARES Act we got in the spring — that was a lifeline for Oakland County.”

Officials say that the money can be used to stabilize businesses during the shutdown related to the pandemic or put towards re-opening efforts. Coulter says a portion of the aid pulled from the county’s general fund is earmarked to help restaurants set up outdoor dining options.

“A lot of restaurants and bars are looking at ways to add outdoor capacity to their facilities,” says Coulter. “$2 million of this will be reserved for any bar or restaurant, whether we’ve given you money or not before, that will go towards the weatherization for the winter.”

Officials say bars and restaurants in Oakland County can start applying for the aid on December 15.

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  • Alex McLenon
    Alex McLenon is a Reporter with 101.9 WDET. McLenon is a graduate of Wayne State University, where he studied Media Arts & Production and Broadcast Journalism.