Tuscaloosa City Council approves COVID-19 relief package for bars

Possible new help for bars in Tuscaloosa

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - The Tuscaloosa City Council unanimously approved a lounge assistance program Tuesday evening at their council meeting.

Around 20 applications have already been received. A committee will review those applications before money is dispersed.

Only businesses that hold ‘lounge retail licenses’ are eligible for the funds.

The funds will be dispersed by the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama.

Hunter Wiggins hopes to get back some of what coronavirus has cost his business.

“We’ve turned all of our information in to get into that pile to try and get some of that money to help us float through these times,” Wiggins told WBRC recently.

Session, a bar in downtown Tuscaloosa, closed twice because of the illness in the last 6 months. It’s open now after being closed for two weeks when Tuscaloosa mayor Walt Maddox closed all 29 bars in the city to slow the spread of coronavirus among University of Alabama students.

Wiggins applied for money the city may give to a relief fund to help bars.

“It’s part of the promise we made when we had to make dramatic action to keep the university in-person. This far efforts have worked and because they’ve worked we’ve saved thousands of jobs in this community. But recognize a sacrifice was made by these 29 bars and that’s what we want to try to do is bridge the gap,” Maddox explained.

“We don’t know what kind of numbers we’re going to get. We asked for one. I hope we get something close to it,” Wiggins said.

Copyright 2020 WBRC. All rights reserved.