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Office of Economic Vitality's Open for Takeout Initiative aims to highlight local businesses

Posted at 6:56 PM, Mar 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-21 18:27:04-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fl. (WTXL) — The City of Tallahassee and Leon County created an interactive map to help the community find local restaurants available for takeout.

You can access that interactive map here.

Local bars and restaurants were immediately impacted after Governor Ron DeSantis' declaration to keep restaurants at 50 percent capacity, In an effort to help and provide resources, the Office of Economic Vitality launched the Open for Takeout Initiative.

The initiative helps the community know what restaurants are open for drive-thru, takeout, delivery, and curbside pick-up.

"We are working very closely to make sure all of our businesses are aware of the resources available to them," said Cristine Paredes, the director for the Tallahassee-Leon County Office of Economic Vitality.

The OEV is the source for vital business information in response to the COVID-19 recovery and response efforts.

"The Open for Takeout app is very user friendly," said Paredes. "You can toggle down to just see the restaurants that are available. Those are in the green icon. The yellow ones are the ones we are working to confirm that they are open for takeout. And we are updating that every day. If your restaurant is open and you see you in the yellow, reach out to our office and we'll turn you on to green."

The office is closely monitoring state and federal regulations, as well as updating their resource guide to reflect the newest information. The OEV has also launched a business assessment survey to determine the coronavirus impact to local owned businesses.

OEV is also actively talking with businesses in Leon County.

"That is why we set up the business assessment survey too, so that we can hear from those who we haven't spoken too personally on the phone, about how we can help them, and steer resources to them," Paredes said.

The State of Florida authorized the emergency bridge loan program, which is one of the resources the OEV is steering business owners toward.

"This is an interest free loan for up to 12 months," said Paredes." It caps at $50,000. That's available to everybody. You can get the application at the Florida Small Business Development Network."

Business owners who have questions regarding applications for those loans can call the OEV at 850-219-1060.