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Federal relief funds available for bars, restaurants; Ishpeming library to reopen, Ore to Shore is on

Ishpeming library to reopen, Ore to Shore is on

MARQUETTE — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Friday encouraged restaurants, bars and other food and drink establishments across Michigan negatively affected by COVID-19 to apply for $28.6 billion in federal Restaurant Revitalization Fund direct relief.

This funding is being provided by the U.S. Small Business Administration under the American Rescue Plan.

“This vital relief will help ensure they can keep their doors open and continue to serve their communities while also ensuring their workers can stay employed entering the critical summer season,” Whitmer said in a statement.

Applications open at noon Monday.

“This is critical relief to some of our hardest hit small businesses,” said Brian Calley, president of the Small Business Association of Michigan, in a statement. “Funds are limited, so I encourage eligible businesses apply as soon as the application window opens to ensure they get the support they need.”

For the first 21 days that the program is open, the SBA will prioritize funding applications from businesses owned and controlled by women, veterans, and socially and economically disadvantaged individuals, organizers said. All eligible applicants are encouraged to submit applications as soon as the portal opens.

Following the 21 days, all eligible applications will be funded on a first-come, first-served basis with the online application remaining open to any eligible establishment until all funds are exhausted.

Eligible businesses include: restaurants; food stands, food trucks and food carts; caterers; bars, saloons, lounges and taverns; brewpubs, tasting rooms, taprooms; breweries, wineries and distilleries; and bakeries. The minimum funding awarded will be $1,000 with businesses that remain open eligible to receive funding equal to their pandemic-related revenue loss, up to $10 million per business and no more than $5 million per physical location.

For more information on the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, visit sba.gov/restaurants.

Ore to Shore to return

The 21st Annual Ore to Shore Mountain Bike Epic, which did not take place in 2020 due to the pandemic, is set to return on Aug. 14.

Organizers are implementing a tiered registration process this year to allow them to manage racers and events in context with ever-changing limitations.

New registration opens at noon today. There will be a limited number of spots available in each race/distance based on the current COVID-19 restrictions. If the guidelines from the state allow organizers to increase attendance, they will do so and rates will be frozen whatever level they are at that time.

For details, visit https://bit.ly/2S8Dw4y.

Library to expand hours

The Ishpeming Carnegie Public Library announced on Friday it will expand its hours for walk-in traffic following a nearly year-long closure due to the pandemic.

Beginning on Tuesday, the library will return to its formerly normal hours for members of the public to come inside for browsing, checkouts and computer use.

Walk-in traffic is welcome from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesdays, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays. Library patrons are required to wear masks and practice social distancing when visiting. The library asks that visits be limited to one hour.

The library offered virtual programming as well as reader’s advisory and reference services during the shutdown last spring, transitioning into curbside pickup services in June and computer appointments in October, and re-opened with limited hours for walk-in traffic in March.

“Libraries exist to serve the public,” library Director Jesse Shirtz said in a news release. “We had to get creative to find new ways to help our community during this unique time. We have missed interacting with our patrons and we look forward to seeing them in person again. It’s been awfully quiet in here.”

The library continues to offer curbside pickup by appointment during open hours. A limited number of computers are available for use on a first-come, first-served basis.

Also continuing are BookFix, a curated book recommendation service, downloadable ebooks, eaudiobooks and magazines as well as and virtual programming. More information can be found on the library’s Facebook page or at www.ishpeminglibrary.info.

Christie Mastric can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 250. Her email address is cbleck@miningjournal.net.

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