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Tuscaloosa leaders discuss relief fund for bars shut down by mayor’s order

Tuscaloosa leaders discuss relief fund for bars shut down by mayor’s order.
Tuscaloosa leaders discuss relief fund for bars shut down by mayor’s order.(WBRC)
Updated: Sep. 1, 2020 at 10:23 PM CDT
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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - New plans are in the works to give some financial help to Tuscaloosa bars shutdown by coronavirus.

The Tuscaloosa City Council was supposed to vote Tuesday on the relief fund. Business owners were prepared to make their case for it, but they’ll have to wait a little while longer. That’s because the structure of the “lounge closure relief fund” as it’s being called is changing to allow for more oversight from city leaders.

A working group made up of people from various city departments will decide how much money to give to struggling bars that were shut down last week to try and slow the spread of COVID-19. The city says the relief fund could provide up to $400,000 for the nearly 30 businesses impacted by the mayor’s shutdown order.

One of those businesses is pleading with the city council to do the right thing.

“We’re a big part of this community. You know we’re suffering. I just ask to give us the green light on it,” Clifton Clark, the owner of 1831 Bar said.

Councilman Lee Busby says the relief fund is “not a money giveaway”. We’re told businesses will have to show how much money they’ve lost.

The vote on it should take place September 15 and businesses could start receiving money a few days later.

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