Article By: Mitch Massman
On May 28, 2020, as bars and restaurants began outdoor dining, the City of Pine Island City Council authorized the funding of tent rentals from Majestic Events through June. These tents allowed three bars and three restaurants the ability to increase their servicing capacity while remaining in compliance with the Governor’s Executive Orders, liquor license laws, and insurance guidelines.
As the pandemic continued, the City wanted to continue offering tent rentals for as long as they could budget. CEDA team member serving Pine Island, Mitch Massman assisted in authoring a grant application through the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation to obtain additional funding to continue the tent rental program. On September 21, 2020, SMIF awarded the City of Pine Island a $10,000 grant to continue funding the program.
This program has had the full support of each bar and restaurant. Bobbi Jo Kennedy, the owner of Betty Sue’s Better Brew Café, stated, “the tent helped us keep business up to speed as our restaurant has a small seating capacity to start with. We have had many great reviews about the tent and our customers would love it if we had it year-round.” Not only have the tents allowed these restaurants to expand their seating, but they have also provided a safe environment for members of the community to dine out and support local businesses throughout the pandemic.