OFFICE OF COUNCIL PRESIDENT MARGO SOMMERVILLE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Joan M. Williams, Council Chief of Staff
Akron City Council Announces $250,000 Akron Safe Pledge Program
Akron, Ohio, December 29, 2022 - As expected, we’re seeing COVID-19 rise across the state this winter. And while COVID-19 isn’t the disruptive force it once was because we have the tools, we have the infrastructure, and we have the know-how to manage this moment. This winter, we can keep people safe. We can prevent hospitalizations and deaths. We can minimize disruptions.
The launch of the Akron Safe Pledge Program is one step City Council is taking to do just that. The program aims to create COVID-safe environment(s) at restaurants, bars, and food establishments throughout Akron for both customers and employees. 100 eligible restaurants and bars that complete all the program's activities 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”, said Council President Margo Sommerville. “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.”
Participating businesses 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. Businesses that complete all the pledge requirements will be provided with an award of $2,500 to help cover the costs of maintaining a safe and protected dining experience.
This program is funded with American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding. Funding awards will be dispersed on a first-come-first-served basis until the funds are exhausted. Funding will allow for 100 businesses to fully participate.
The only business types eligible to fully participate in the Akron Safe Pledge Program include restaurants and bars.
All restaurants, bars, and other eating establishments must also meet the following criteria:
- 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.
The application period for the Akron Safe Pledge Program opens on January 2nd, 2023. Interested businesses 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).