Chamber managed program launches December 7

by Dennis Rahm

Restaurants, one of the hardest hit industries in the Lake Chelan Valley, will soon be eligible to apply for a recently announced COVID-19 relief program managed by the Lake Chelan Chamber of Commerce.

It is being called “Lake Chelan Restaurant Rally” and will allow qualifying restaurants throughout the Lake Chelan Valley to apply for monthly matching grants December through February. The $150,000 campaign will utilize unrestricted Chamber funds and offer matching grants at a minimum of $5,000 and a maximum of $10,000.

While discussing the program at the Tuesday night Chelan City Council Workshop, Chamber Executive Director, Mike Steele said the Lake Chelan Restaurant Rally is modeled after a program that was used in Pierce County. Council member Erin McCardle indicated the success of the COVID relief plan is contingent upon the community supporting the restaurants since without continued business being generated, there can be no matching funds.

Steele tells LakeChelanNow that the financial boost for restaurants is badly needed. He said some retail has fared well in the summer through fall timeframe, while the restaurant industry has been hit extremely hard with most eateries suffering declines of 25-50 percent.

Steele said the Chamber will be reaching out to local restaurants to make sure they are aware of the program. Local media will also be used to help get the word out. The grants will be made available on a first come, first served basis.