Food and beverage tax group OKs expansion of eligibility for COVID-19 relief

REVISED R Output FOOD AND BEVERAGE REVENUE BY MONTH YEAR OVER YEAR June 16 update

Even though it’s physically located inside the Bloomington city limits, the Monroe County History Center is now eligible for a grant through an already established county government program that’s designed to support businesses and nonprofits impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

That’s the specific effect of a decision made at a Tuesday afternoon meeting of the food and beverage tax advisory commission (FABTAC). But the FABTAC’s decision applies to any entity “whose purpose and mission is to support the entire county in tourism related endeavors.”

What’s new for the county’s grant program is the suspension of a rigid geographic requirement that a grantee be located outside the Bloomington city limits.

The FABTAC is a seven-member group made up of city and county electeds, and three owners of businesses that collect the 1-percent food and beverage tax from their patrons. Continue reading “Food and beverage tax group OKs expansion of eligibility for COVID-19 relief”

Food and beverage tax support for pandemic-impacted businesses continues, advisory group to meet Tuesday

Last Wednesday, Monroe County commissioners awarded about $21,000 more in grants to pandemic-affected tourism-related businesses outside the city limits of Bloomington. That brings the total amount awarded by the county to $266,442.

bordered R-OUT Unemployment Initial Claims Monroe County 2008-2020 June 14 output
In the last three weeks for which numbers are available, initial claims for unemployment filed in Monroe County are 368, 354 and 363. That’s  still around the top levels seen during the 2008 downturn.

The food and beverage tax advisory commission (FABTAC), has recommended that the county can use up to $400,000 of such tax tax proceeds to help businesses recover from the impact of COVID-19.

Bloomington has a corresponding loan program for up to $2 million of food and beverage tax proceeds. Through last Wednesday, the city’s loan numbers looked the same as the week before—$939,600 has been awarded to 34 businesses. All of the submitted applications had been processed as of last Wednesday.

Bloomington has loaned out another $247,170 for pandemic-relief using funds from the Bloomington Urban Enterprise Association.

On Tuesday at 3:15 p.m., the FABTAC will hold a meeting, when it’s possible that they’ll approve an expansion to the county’s grant program. Continue reading “Food and beverage tax support for pandemic-impacted businesses continues, advisory group to meet Tuesday”

Food and beverage tax revenues start to show COVID-19 impact

New2 R Output FOOD AND BEVERAGE REVENUE BY MONTH YEAR OVER YEARThroughApril2020

The impact of Indiana governor Eric Holcomb’s initial stay-at-home order, which was effective starting March 25, is starting to show up in food and beverage tax revenue reports for Monroe County.

In the April report delivered to food and beverage tax advisory commission (FABTAC) members at their regular meeting on Tuesday, revenues from the 1-percent tax were $204,681.

That’s down about 30 percent from the $291,297 reported for April in 2019.

An April report of food and beverage tax revenues will reflect collections made in March, based on discussion as the meeting. Continue reading “Food and beverage tax revenues start to show COVID-19 impact”

Monroe County’s total food and beverage COVID-19 relief nudges towards $200K as board gets updates on blood drive, mask promotion

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Screen shot from the May 20, 2020 meeting of Monroe County’s board of commissioners, which was conducted on the Zoom video conferencing platform.

At Wednesday’s regular meeting of Monroe County’s commissioners, another $5,000 COVID-19 relief grant was made to a tourism-related business outside Bloomington city limits, using food and beverage tax proceeds.

The breakdown for Pili’s Party Taco’s use of the $5,000 grant is: $1,800 rent; $1,200 insurance (truck and supplies); and $2,000 for employee salaries.

The board also got an update on an upcoming blood drive, a mask-wearing promotion, and a comprehensive county planning update. Continue reading “Monroe County’s total food and beverage COVID-19 relief nudges towards $200K as board gets updates on blood drive, mask promotion”

Monroe County on path for second $200K-installment of COVID-19 business relief using food and beverage tax proceeds

At a Tuesday afternoon meeting, the food and beverage tax advisory commission (FABTAC) recommended another $200,000 for Monroe County officials to allocate to tourism-related businesses that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Screenshot of the May 5, 2020 meeting of the food and beverage tax advisory commission, which was held by Zoom video conference.

That brings to $400,000 the total recommended by the FABTAC for the county’s COVID-19 relief program.

The county’s grant program for COVID-19 business relief is just for tourism-related businesses outside the Bloomington city limits.

The city of Bloomington has a similar program using its own share of the food and beverage tax proceeds, but the allocations to businesses inside the city limits are being made as loans, not grants. The city’s program taps $2 million from the city’s share of food and beverage tax proceeds.

The county council will have an ordinance on its May 12 agenda next week to appropriate the additional money recommended on Tuesday by the FABTAC. The following day at their regular meeting, the county commissioners expect to be able to make some additional grant allocations to businesses.

At Tuesday’s FABTAC meeting, president of the county’s board of commissioners, Julie Thomas, encouraged businesses to continue to apply for the grants.

An initial installment of $200,000 in food and beverage tax proceeds was recommended by the FABTAC in March. Continue reading “Monroe County on path for second $200K-installment of COVID-19 business relief using food and beverage tax proceeds”

Monroe County hits $160K in food and beverage tax distributions for COVID-19 business relief, looks for approval of another $200K

At their regular Wednesday morning meeting, Monroe County commissioners authorized another $95,500 in support of COVID-19 relief for tourism-related businesses outside the city of Bloomington.

Nine business received grant awards ranging from $2,500 to $23,000.

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Screen shot of the Zoom video conference for the April 29, 2020 Monroe County board of commissioners meeting.

That adds to the total of $68,352 they approved last week for the same purpose.

Some of the roughly $36,000 that now remains from a $200,000 appropriation of food and beverage tax proceeds could be distributed to other businesses on Friday at 3 p.m. That’s when the commissioners will resume their meeting. The Wednesday session was not adjourned.

President of the board of commissioners, Julie Thomas, said that the applications that might be considered by Friday had come in after a soft deadline.

Also at Wednesday’s meeting, commissioners authorized a request to the food and beverage tax advisory commission (FABTAC ) of another $200,000 for COVID-19 business relief.

Same as before, the relief would go to tourism-related businesses in the county and outside the city limits of Bloomington. FABTAC would likely need to convene a special meeting to consider the request. Continue reading “Monroe County hits $160K in food and beverage tax distributions for COVID-19 business relief, looks for approval of another $200K”

$2.2M in food and beverage tax money now queued up for Bloomington, Monroe County COVID-19 economic relief, pending guidance from state’s board of accounts

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Screen grab of the March 27, 2020 meeting of the food and beverage tax advisory commission (FABTAC), which was conducted on the videoconferencing platform Zoom.

At its Friday afternoon meeting, the food and beverage tax advisory commission (FABTAC) unanimously approved a request to use $2 million in already-collected tax money to assist businesses inside the city of Bloomington that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The request came from Bloomington’s city council, which voted unanimously on Wednesday to make the request of the FABTAC.

Friday’s vote by the FABTAC concludes, for now, its role in the effort to use proceeds of the 1-percent tax to provide economic support to businesses impacted by COVID-19.

Previously, the FABTAC had approved a request from Monroe County commissioners to use $200,000 of the county’s share of the money to assist businesses outside the city of Bloomington.

Details on the distribution of the money will now be sorted out by the city and the county for their respective shares. Continue reading “$2.2M in food and beverage tax money now queued up for Bloomington, Monroe County COVID-19 economic relief, pending guidance from state’s board of accounts”

Monroe County, Bloomington both putting food and beverage tax money towards COVID-19 economic relief

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Screen grab of the March 25, 2020 meeting of the Monroe County council, conducted on the videoconferencing platform Zoom.
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Screen grab of the March 25, 2020 meeting of the Bloomington city council, conducted on on the videoconferencing platform Zoom.

Added together, Bloomington and Monroe County’s respective shares of unexpended food and beverage tax revenues, collected countywide since early 2018, stand at around $5.7 million.

In separate actions over the last week, Bloomington and Monroe County elected officials have taken steps towards appropriating $2.2 million of that money for relief of businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

By early Wednesday, March 25, COVID-19 had claimed 14 lives in the state of Indiana. Continue reading “Monroe County, Bloomington both putting food and beverage tax money towards COVID-19 economic relief”

First Monroe County, now Bloomington, to consider food and beverage tax money as economic relief funds in COVID-19 response

On Monday, Indiana governor Eric Holcomb’s gave a noon address announcing a stay-at-home order as a way to help curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic virus.

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Monroe County councilor Cheryl Munson and Bloomington city councilmember Steve Volan are vice president and president, respectively, of the food and beverage tax advisory commission (FABTAC).

A couple of hours later, elected and appointed officials from Bloomington, Monroe County, Indiana University, and IU Health, held a virtual press conference.

During his turn, Bloomington’s mayor, John Hamilton, referred to the necessary response to the COVID-19 pandemic as a “marathon, not a sprint.” He quickly revised that description: “We’re in a marathon that starts with a sprint.”

Part of the sprint is a resolution approved last Wednesday by Monroe County commissioners, to make a request of the food and beverage tax advisory commission (FABTAC). If the FABTAC gives its approval, the county would be able to use $200,000 of already-collected food and beverage tax revenues for economic relief of local businesses impacted by COVID-19.

Bloomington now looks like it could make a similar request of the FABTAC. It will likely be for a larger amount, because Bloomington receives 90 percent of the food and beverage tax revenues. The county receives the other 10 percent.

Bloomington’s request could be made at the city council’s upcoming Wednesday meeting. A revised meeting agenda now includes a resolution that would make a request of FABTAC for the use of food and beverage tax revenues. Continue reading “First Monroe County, now Bloomington, to consider food and beverage tax money as economic relief funds in COVID-19 response”

Food and beverage tax group to meet: Relief for some businesses impacted by COVID-19?

R Bar Chart of Food & Beverage Tax through 2019

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on local area businesses has prompted a special meeting on Tuesday next week (March 24) by the food and beverage tax advisory commission (FABTAC) to consider a request from Monroe County’s board of commissioners.

The board voted this past Wednesday to ask that Monroe County be allowed to use $200,000 in already-accumulated revenues from the 1-percent food and beverage tax to support businesses that collect the tax or that promote tourism. Continue reading “Food and beverage tax group to meet: Relief for some businesses impacted by COVID-19?”