The City of Lancaster won a Bronze Rank for its Restaurant Rescue Package, a project in the category of Resiliency, Recovery and Mitigation of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC).
“We are grateful to receive this award for a program that was critical to the City’s economic survival during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris. “The Restaurant Rescue Program was truly a total-city effort involving city staff, local businesses, and all of our residents who participated to keep our local businesses thriving.”
IEDC’s Excellence in Economic Development Awards recognizes the world’s best economic development programs and partnerships, marketing materials, and the year’s most influential leaders. Twenty-five award categories honor organizations and individuals for their efforts in creating positive change in urban, suburban, and rural communities. Awards are judged by a diverse panel of economic and community developers, following a nomination process held earlier this year. IEDC received over 500 submissions from four countries.
The Restaurant Rescue Package was a multi-pronged approach to assisting our local restaurants, wineries, and breweries that were impacted by the restrictions put in place by the State and County.
Since on-site dining was prohibited and eateries were restricted to takeout and delivery options only, the “Take Out & Chill” portion of the program encouraged residents to purchase from local businesses.
The city provided thousands of “Take Out & Chill” cards worth $20 each to healthcare workers, first responders, essential workers, and residents to be used at the businesses that enrolled in our program. Businesses who enrolled in the program were provided a grant to help offset any costs associated with the anticipated ramp-up in customers, including bringing back some laid-off employees. A two-month bill credit was applied to the businesses that are customers of the city’s utility company.
Additionally, the city covered the cost of first year memberships to the California Restaurant Association, the group that spearheaded the legal battle to keep businesses open. Lastly, the city sponsored the first-ever “Taste the AV” event, which was held through the month of January and encouraged participation through the completion of a food passport and the ability to win various prizes.
“The winners of IEDC’s Excellence in Economic Development awards represent the best of economic development and exemplify the leadership that our profession strives for every day,” said Tom Kucharski, 2021 IEDC board chair and president/CEO of Invest Buffalo Niagara. “We’re honored to recognize the more than 100 communities whose marketing submissions, projects, and partnerships have improved regional quality of life.”
The IEDC is a non-profit, non-partisan membership organization serving economic developers. There are more than 5,000 members.