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Clearwater launches restaurant aid program and extends downtown street closure

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Posted at 5:53 AM, Jun 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-02 05:53:16-04

The city of Clearwater's Community Redevelopment Agency has launched a new voucher program to spur downtown dining.

The CRA's new pilot program is a limited time, limited quantity voucher program at restaurants, cafes, and bars located in Downtown Clearwater and throughout the city's CRA district this summer.

A total of 2,500 vouchers for a $20 credit will be available through the program. The vouchers can be put toward a resident's bill starting July 1 through Aug. 31 at participating downtown restaurants during nights and weekends. Both business owners and residents will need to apply to participate in the program here starting June 1.

Restaurants, cafes, and bars must be open on nights and weekends to apply.

Residents must fill out an interest form in order to participate starting June 1 and must be submitted by June 26. Applicants must live within the city limits to participate.

Residents will be sent vouchers on a first-come, first-served basis via email/mail following the June 26 deadline, for use July 1 through August 31 at participating downtown restaurants, cafes and bars on nights and weekends.

"As our community is adjusting to new realities, we want to create opportunities to both support our local businesses and encourage our residents to explore what Downtown Clearwater has to offer," said Amanda Thompson, CRA director.

As the voucher program kicks off, the May closure of Cleveland Street between the 400 and 500 blocks proved so popular the city has opted to continue keeping the stretch closed to vehicle traffic through June 14. The street will remain open to pedestrians, shoppers and diners to provide more outdoor dining space to safely spread out for an afternoon lunch or dinner under the
nighttime lights.