The coronavirus has been devastating to the bottom lines of many Loudoun County restaurants. Bars areas closed, dining rooms with limited capacity. But at least during the warmer months, restauranteurs could mitigate this somewhat by offering outdoor patio seating. Now, as the colder temperatures set in and patios close, restaurants are facing a tough winter.

Today, Loudoun County Economic Development announced a new grant program to try and help struggling businesses with this exact problem. It’s dubbed the “Loudoun is Ready Outdoor Seating Grant” and it will offer up to $5,000 to roughly 50 area businesses — primarily restaurants and craft beverage makers. The money can be used to add or increase outdoor seating, purchase tents and outdoor space heaters as well as fuel for the heaters.

The funds are coming from the national CARES Act which is a $2.2 trillion stimulus program meant to help businesses around the country during the coronavirus pandemic. Local business owners can find out more about the “Loudoun is Ready” program here. And this winter, if you’re dining out in a tent next to a heater, it may be thanks to grants like this.

(Image at top: Loudoun County Economic Development)