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Here’s why your favorite Columbus restaurant could be in for a rough winter

Here’s why your favorite Columbus restaurant could be in for a rough winter

Jack McLaughlin

According to the Ohio Restaurant Association, your favorite local eatery might need some help to make it through the colder months.

At a Nov. 10 event hosted at Harvest Pizzeria, ORA officials announced what they deemed “startling” figures from research conducted regarding conditions in the restaurant industry.

They found that 58 percent of restaurants claimed conditions are worse than they were three months ago, and that 53 percent of restaurants believe they will not break even in 2021.

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And now with winter on the way, many eateries are facing the possibility of having to close down outdoor dining spaces. “Restaurants currently rely on outdoor dining to stay open, but the dark chill of winter is coming,” said ORA President and CEO John Barker in a press release. “For operators depending on this revenue, every additional day they can extend their outdoor service matters.”

To combat this, the group is advocating for lawmakers to bolster the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, which previously assisted eateries during the pandemic. “From fulfilling more to-go orders to offering cocktails to-go in some locations and of course expanding capacity through outdoor dining, restaurants have done whatever they could to keep their doors open and serve their communities,” Barker said in a press release. “This is why we need Congress to replenish the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF), especially for the 6,804 eligible restaurants in Ohio still waiting to receive funds through the program.”

The ORA believes local groups and officials can help as well. “Specifically, the ORA recommends extending expanded outdoor dining allowances, continuing to streamline permitting processes, promoting outdoor dining efforts by operators in their localities, and providing funding for outdoor dining infrastructure as some localities did last year,” the Ohio Restaurant Association said in a statement.

If you like this, read: City ties all-time homicide record; restaurant owners react to crime surge

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