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Akron announces $250,000 Safe Pledge Program to encourage businesses to combat COVID-19

The Akron City Council has announced a $250,000 Safe Pledge Program to encourage businesses to follow safe COVID-19 protocols.

AKRON, Ohio — In an effort to encourage businesses to take steps to curb the spread of COVID-19 this season, the Akron City Council has announced a $250,000 Akron Safe Pledge Program.

According to a release, the program "aims to create COVID-safe environment(s) at restaurants, bars, and food establishments throughout Akron for both customers and employees." In return for completing the program, 100 eligible restaurants and bars will receive financial support to
"help cover the costs of offering a safe, protected dining experience."

“As the COVID-19 virus continues to evolve and cases are on the rise again, we proactively support our local food establishments in providing safe environments and remaining open for business”, Council President Margo Sommerville said in a statement. “The Akron Safe Pledge is a by-product of a public-private collaboration and designed to be easy for the business community to take part in,” said At-Large Councilman Jeff Fusco. “Restaurant patrons can identify food establishments that have completed the program by Akron Safe Pledge Program Certificates of Completion.”

Businesses who participate in the program will be required to attend a COVID-19 Safe Workplace training hosted by the Summit County Health Department and to complete a COVID-19 Workplace Safety Checklist aimed at protecting employees and customers. The first 100 businesses that complete all the pledge requirements on a first-come, first-serve basis will be provided with an award of $2,500 to help cover the costs of maintaining a safe and protected dining experience.

Only bars and restaurants that meet the following criteria are eligible to participate in the program:

  • Business location is physically located within Akron, OH city limits.
  • Business employs between 3 and 40 people, including the owner and any full-time employees, part-time employees, or individuals working under a 1099 or similar contractual agreement.

Applications for the Akron Safe Pledge Program will open on Jan. 2, 2023. Businesses interested in participating should begin by first submitting an eligibility application electronically through the online portal located on the Akron City Council’s webpage (www.akroncitycouncil.org/akron-safe-pledge).

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