To support Southlake’s local businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, the City Council adopted the Southlake Business Relief Grant Program. This grant program is the first of its kind ever in Southlake aimed at providing relief to local business owners.
“Southlake is a strong community. Over the last several months, I have spoken with countless business owners that are operating with a reduced capacity in customers, staff and are making it work despite the challenging environment. The City Council wants to make sure that we give back to our businesses that have given to the community so much over the years. By helping our businesses succeed, we can continue to build a stronger Southlake and stronger economy together,” Mayor Laura Hill said.
Over the last several months, the business community has experienced an increasingly challenging environment due to the ongoing pandemic. Changing consumer behaviors and loss of revenue, are just two things on Southlake business owners’ minds. They have also had to adjust to state and local mandates while finding the best ways to accommodate their customers and reassuring them their business is a safe environment to be in.
“This program will help our local businesses bridge the revenue gap they’ve experienced so they can continue to provide the great products and services to the community without having to consistently worry about revenue. It’s important to understand that when our local businesses hurt and struggle, as a community, we do as well,” Economic Development and Tourism Director Daniel Cortez said.
This business relief grant is the newest of many recovery efforts the City has provided to its business community. Earlier this year, the Southlake City Council, with input from the Economic Recovery Task Force and the Community Enhancement and Development Corporation also provided strategies to help local businesses in their recovery efforts by allowing them to expand their offerings, from outdoor retail sales to outdoor dining and signage placement. This grant program further expands on Southlake’s relief efforts.
The application period is open from December 3 to January 15. Notifications to all businesses that apply will be sent beginning late January with grant disbursements to occur in February.
To review eligibility requirements or to apply for the grant, visit the Southlake Business Relief Grant Program webpage. For questions, please contact the Office of Economic and Development and Tourism.
From limited occupancy to increased curbside service, the restaurant scene has greatly changed since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Locally-owned Wildwood Southlake, like countless other restaurants, has adapted to this new normal, but it continues to serve the same smoky, Southern-inspired specialties.
Opened by Dave and Mary Garner in December 2009, Wildwood Southlake has become a local mainstay. Made popular by its wood-fired chops, poultry, seafood and extensive wine and whiskey lists, Wildwood Southlake offers a community-connected environment, as can be seen on its menu with Dragon Dip and the Dragon Burger, both paying tribute to Southlake Carroll Dragons.
Wildwood Southlake supports numerous local organizations including the Southlake Chamber of Commerce (Dave served as its president 2018-19) and Carroll Education Foundation. Most recently, Dave assisted Southlake Mayor Pro Tem John Huffman’s task force in creating the Southlake Safe program, a partnership with local businesses to promote health and safety in the era of COVID-19.
Southlake business owners can sign the Southlake Safe Pledge, a voluntary, opt-in agreement that demonstrates a commitment to protecting the community by following recommended health and safety guidelines. Businesses that sign the pledge receive a Southlake Safe Pledge kit, which includes PPE essentials like face masks, a digital thermometer, hand sanitizer and a Southlake Safe decal to display on their storefront. All businesses that commit to the pledge are featured in a Southlake Safe business directory at SouthlakeSafe.com.
Restaurants have been one of the hardest hit industries during the COVID-19 pandemic and Wildwood Southlake has not been immune to the challenges. The restaurant supports efforts to restore consumer confidence.
While the restaurant was closed from March to May due to Governor Abbott’s mandate in response to the pandemic, it underwent several changes, including a number of upgrades (installation of hands-free sinks and toilets, new tile, updated bar flooring, new LED light fixtures and a number of other projects). Upon reopening in May, the restaurant implemented rigorous staff training sessions regarding additional safety precautions and social distancing, as well as started contactless curbside pick-up for meal orders.
“Due to mandates from the state, Wildwood was closed for over six weeks and has been limited to 50 percent capacity indoors for the past several months. Measures to increase the percentage of occupancy will not materially impact occupancy of the operation while current social distancing measures remain in place. Our sales remain below last year and we look forward to seeing those guests who have not returned again in the near future,” Dave explained.
According to the Texas Restaurant Association, there is no evidence of a systemic spread of COVID-19 coming from restaurants – like Wildwood Southlake – that follow the Texas Restaurant Promise, which encompasses Texas’ Minimum Standard Health Protocols for Restaurants and national reopening guidance developed by the National Restaurant Association with experts from the FDA. In effect, the lack of a direct correlation is evidence that, when restaurants demonstrate effective mitigation efforts, the risk is low when dining outside or inside.
At Wildwood Southlake, guests may choose to safely dine socially distanced inside the restaurant, outside on the patio, or order contactless curbside pick-up. Whichever option diners choose, know that Wildwood Southlake is open and ready to serve the same chef-inspired comfort foods that have made the restaurant a local favorite.
City Council approved new and existing temporary regulations and activities for Southlake businesses during the October 6 City Council meeting.
The City understands that businesses have been severely impacted by COVID-19 and has suspended enforcement of sign codes, parking, landscaping and outdoor and patio activity regulations to help businesses succeed and continue to provide a safe environment for the public.
With social distancing guidelines still in place, the City allowed businesses to post tents, trailers and trucks outside to sell merchandise and offer food pickup. Regulations to provide vaccination or testing related services by medical and health professionals outside of the normal office or clinic settings were also approved.
Ratifications of new regulations to Institutions such as schools, churches and government facilities will also go into effect to allow organizations to set up temporary structures or tents in order to conduct business or activities outdoors as long as they meet all zoning, building and fire regulations.
Gyms, fitness studios or any facility that is associated with instructional classes will also be allowed to conduct sessions outside the building as long it is on the same property as the facility.
Any tenant utilizing temporary signage regulations will need approval by the owner or property management company.
All changes will be in place until January 5, 2021.
Tastefully Yours Catering is a full service, family owned and operated catering business located here in Southlake! Serving their loyal Dallas – Fort Worth area clients since 2007, their goal is to transform your ideas of food and event catering into spectacular and memorable events.Specializing in wedding receptions, corporate & team building events, and private parties of all flavors, Tastefully Yours Catering combines delicious cuisine with impeccable service and unmatched presentation to create truly unique culinary events. Learn about them directly from owner, Lisa Huszar, and start making your culinary plans for the holidays!#SelectSouthlake #BusinessSpotlight #LocalBusiness #Southlake #dinelocal #localcatering #holidaymeals
Posted by Select Southlake on Wednesday, October 7, 2020
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