Large NC outdoor venues to reopen, financial relief coming for small businesses

North Carolina news

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — As COVID-19 numbers remain steady in North Carolina, Gov. Roy Cooper announced plans to allow some large outdoor venues to reopen.

He said there’s also help on the way for small businesses with $40 million in federal funds. 

“It’s a step in the right direction,” Jill Santa Lucia said.

CBS 17 first reported on Santa Lucia, the owner of Catering Works and more recently, the venue the Laurelbrook, earlier this month. 

“Feeling a little more positive that the state is going to help small businesses,” she said Tuesday.

Santa Lucia said business was down almost 90 percent from this same time last year. Like so many small business owners, she wondered how much longer she could afford to go on. 

Then Cooper announced the new relief, providing $40 million in federal funds. That money could be used to pay the mortgage, rent and utility bills.

According to the release, up to $20,000 would be available per business. The focus is on businesses that weren’t allowed to operate from April 1 to July 31. 

“It might help with some of our payroll, our rent, just expenses,” Santa Lucia said.

Also covered in that announcement, large outdoor venues like Coastal Credit Union Music Park in Raleigh can reopen. The large venues affected must hold at least 10,000 people and operate at 7% capacity. The new rules start Oct. 2. 

Meanwhile, the city of Raleigh confirmed they’ll be sending out letters to three Raleigh restaurants in Glenwood South — Southern Charred, Dogwood and Clockwork.

They said the fire marshal checked their occupancy over the weekend and found they were more than 50% full. The businesses were not cited. 

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