During a weekly joint press conference on Friday afternoon, Mayor John Hamilton announced plans to close sections of Kirkwood to vehicular traffic 24/7 through the end of the year. Those sections are between Dunn and Grant, and from Washington to Walnut. The block between Indiana and Dunn will be closed weekends only. North/south cross streets will remain open.
Since this summer, sections of Kirkwood have been closed from Thursday through Sunday to allow restaurants to set up tables for customers in the street. It allows for additional seating with distancing requirements due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some restaurant owners have been advocating to keep the closing throughout the week so that they can set up tents with heaters during inclement weather.
Erin Predmore, CEO of the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce, was a guest on the Oct. 16, 2020 WFIU Noon Edition, focused on how COVD-related festival cancellations are impacting southern Indiana.
Other panelists were Judy Epp, Spencer Pride fundraising director; Diana Choate, Monroe County Fall Festival president; and Elaine Bedel, Indiana Destination and Development Corporation secretary and CEO.
Click here to listen to a recording of the discussion. Read the WFIU report: "Bloomington Chamber CEO Talks Effects of Local Event Cancellations."
Monroe County is now offering reimbursements for expenses related to COVID-19 for up to $20,000. The previous limit was $10,000.
The reimbursements are made possible with funds from the federal CARES Act. Examples of approved expenses include cleaning or disinfection supplies, personal protection equipment (like face masks), and costs associated with changing your business model (such as restaurants that started offering curbside or take-out).
Details and a reimbursement form are available here.
The Bloomington Urban Enterprise Association and the Bloomington Arts Commission are seeking applications for a second round of funding to foster the arts and cultivate cultural experiences in Bloomington.
Nonprofit organizations and businesses in the arts and cultural sector can apply for funds starting Friday, September 4 at noon at the following link: https://bloomington.in.gov/arts/grants. Applications will be evaluated according to organizational capacity, community impact, equity and inclusion efforts, artistic quality, and programming needs. Completed applications are due Friday, October 2, at 5 p.m., with awards to be announced and distribution anticipated by late October.
As part of the city's Recover Forward initiative, in May 2020 the BUEA and the BAC awarded $80,800 in grant funding to 26 nonprofit organizations whose programming was interrupted or otherwise impacted by the pandemic.
NOTE: Mary Morgan, the Chamber's Director of Advocacy & Public Policy, serves on the BUEA board.
Effective Friday, Aug. 21 at noon, private gatherings in the City of Bloomington are limited to 15 people. Mayor John Hamilton issued the executive order imposing the change, as part of an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19 as Indiana University students return to town.
A Monroe County Public Health order, which took effect July 22, has limited private gatherings to 50 people. That remains in effect.
The mayoral order applies only within the City of Bloomington, including the IU campus. It remains in effect indefinitely.
The City of Bloomington has started a pilot program to convert parking spaces into additional spots for outdoor dining in the downtown area. Restaurants that want to create these “parklets” can apply to the city, which will then install barriers to protect the seating area.
Businesses can apply online here. More information is available on the city's business resource page, or contact Kaisa Goodman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The program will be available at least through Sept. 30.
As uncertainty continues regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, our community’s K-12 public school systems recently announced plans for the start of the school year. The trustees and administration for Monroe County Community School Corp. and Richland-Bean Blossom Community School Corp. are working to balance safety issues for students and staff while ensuring a positive learning experience.
The Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce urges support for parents, teachers and students during this stressful time. We encourage employers to be flexible and patient as their employees navigate this shifting landscape. There are no easy answers, but we trust that our local educators are working to find the best possible outcome for students.
Information about MCCSC’s reopening plan is on the district's website. RBBCSC’s back-to-school plan is available here.
Good luck to all students, teachers, and parents for a successful start to the school year. We support you!
Monroe County is distributing reimbursements to local businesses for expenses directly tied to the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds are part of the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
Expenses might include cleaning supplies, personal protection equipment like face masks, or costs associated with changing the way a business operates (converting to curbside pickup, for example).
Click here for details and to apply for reimbursements. Questions can be directed to the county's project administrator at 812-272-6355 or email@example.com.
The City of Bloomington has designed 54 parking spots throughout downtown as free 15-minute pick-up/drop-off (PUDO) locations for restaurants and merchants. The intent is to support the curbside pick-up model that many businesses are using during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Click here for an interactive map of the PUDO spaces.
This pilot project, which starts Aug. 1, has been approved by the city's Board of Public Works through Sept. 30. After that, it could be extended via temporary order or city council vote.
The city also announced that starting Aug. 1, enforcement of metered parking spaces will begin again from 8 a.m. until 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The city has been offering two free hours of metered parking since March.
Director of Advocacy & Public Policy