The COVID-19 pandemic has caused hardship to our tourism, entertainment and hospitality businesses across Lewis County. Businesses who rely on social atmospheres have changed their entire business models to accommodate social distancing, proper ventilation and more. Solutions were quickly implemented as the warmer weather approached in Lewis County and more outdoor dining opportunities were created to accommodate more customers, and to ensure the safety of customers and staff.
At a recent Winter Tourism roundtable and brainstorming event, hosted by Lewis County IDA and the Chamber of Commerce, the idea of outdoor seating during the winter months, and the lack thereof, emerged. As we know, Lewis County businesses are reliant on local, and tourist, patrons throughout the winter. In order to ensure that these local businesses survive the long, cold and snowy winter, we are asking the business community to continue to think creatively on how to implement the extension of safe outdoor experiences during winter months in Lewis County. To stimulate and encourage this creative thinking, the Lewis County Development Corporation (LCDC) has created the Winter Design Challenge Grant Program.
$20,000 in LCDC grant funds has been made available via contract with Lewis County for economic devleopment services and through the Pratt Northam COVID-19 Community Impact Fund.Businesses should submit Winter Design Challenge proposals online at www.naturallylewis.com/business-support/winter-design-challenge by November 20, 2020. Applications should include a project plan, health and safety considerations, and a project budget.Selected proposals will be awarded on December 1, 2020.
About the Lewis County Development Corporation
The Lewis County Development Corporation, a Local Development Corporation, is a not-for-profit countywide organization dedicated to utilizing and creating assets for economic and community development. This community-based organization is intended to be proactive, flexible, and able to act decisively and quickly. We will identify research, fund, develop, and manage projects, programs, and businesses that increase economic opportunities for Lewis County and its residents. We recognize the critical need to work together with all agencies and organizations involved in economic development in order to achieve a common goal of increasing the quality of life for all people in Lewis County. We also know that we can be a critical component for success in the revitalization, economic stabilization, and future expansion efforts, recognizing the following areas as points of focus for success in fulfilling our mission.