Nearly two dozen bars, restaurants and entertainment businesses have each received $5,000 grants from the city of Erie to help mitigate financial losses they have suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The grants, totaling $110,000, were approved by Erie City Council on Wednesday.
The city received an allocation of $76 million in US federal bailout funds from the $1.9 trillion federal stimulus bill, signed into law in 2021 by President Joe Biden to aid recovery from the pandemic of COVID-19.
The council previously approved a plan by Mayor Joe Schamberr to help local businesses, reduce the blight, help fund environmental cleanups, support local artists, help the city’s bars, restaurants and entertainment businesses offset COVID-19 related losses and fund other initiatives using approximately $17 million of ARP funds.
ARP package:$17 million to help restaurants, businesses and spur development
The grant recipients, all located in the city of Erie:
- Andora bubble tea shop
- Sullivan’s Pub and Restaurant
- El Canelo VI, Inc.
- Cappabianca Tourist attractions
- Chipper’s Seafood and Southern Fusion
- Smugglers’ Wharf
- All An Act theater productions
- Pineapple Eddie Southern Bistro
- Room 33, LLC
- U Choose 6 Tap House
- Bay House/Pier 6
- Andy’s Ale House & Grill
- Altered State Distillery
- Molly Brannigan’s Pub, LLC
- Ember and forge
- Franco’s Coffee
- like my thai
- Cloud 9 Wine Bar and Restaurant
- Dafmark Dance Theater
- Skipperino’s Pizzeria, Inc.
- Ristorante MiScuzi
- 3 guy chicken
The demand for $5,000 for Andy sparked a debate at the Erie City Council’s regular meeting on Wednesday evening due to concerns about the company’s dress code and whether it is discriminatory or vague.
Dress code questions:West Erie Law Society’s $5,000 grant application reviewed
Reverend Lamont A. Higginbottom Sr., Pastor of Erie’s The Second Baptist Church and President of the African American Concerned Clergy of Erie, posted on his personal Facebook page on Sunday that he and his wife had been asked to leave Andy’s this afternoon after learning that they were dressed “so inappropriate for the establishment”.
Higginbottom, who is black, said he wore sweatpants, a hoodie and boots and felt Andy’s dress code was an example of “microaggression” aimed at excluding certain groups, including people. people of color.
Andy’s co-owner Paul Schofield said clothing and various other clothing is prohibited by a dress code at Andy that dates back 40 years and the company does not discriminate.
Council members voted 7-0 to approve all 22 grants, including the allocation for Andy’s, at the regular panel meeting on Wednesday. Council President Liz Allen was among those who said Higginbottom’s experience was not reason enough to reject Andy’s grant.