The past few months have been trying times for residents and businesses alike, but we have worked together to make the best of a bad situation. The Bowling Green community has come together in ways that demonstrate that we are a close knit community, all working together and helping each other. As your mayor I have been very proud with the numerous stories of businesses thinking outside the box to continue to operate and residents continuing to patronize those businesses. Governor DeWine’s announcement allowing businesses to reopen is a welcome one – we soon will be able to head to our favorite restaurant, store or get a haircut! As the State continues to allow for the opening of businesses, it will be paramount that we maintain our discipline and adhere to the continually evolving guidance. We need to wear masks when required, keep our distance, and continue good hygiene by washing hands and staying home when feeling sick.
These few months have also been a good demonstration that your city is here for you. Since March, City staff has been working tirelessly to maintain those essential services we all rely on. The following has also occurred to help our community:
- Municipal Court Judge Reddin has suspended eviction proceedings
- Proactively discontinued utility shutoffs due to non-payment
- Suspended utility late payment penalties
- Reserved on-street parking within the downtown for business carryout service
- Continued the parking holiday, making it free to park in City-owned parking lots
- Worked with businesses to allow for increased signage and waiving the permit fee requirement for additional signs
- BG Transit is offering free passenger fares
- Explored new and different ways to have public meetings and allow for public input
- Business Revolving Loan Fund – 18 month loans with no interest, no payments for the first 6 months.
On May 15, our restaurants will be opening to outdoor dining, followed shortly by modified indoor dining. In response, the City is working with businesses to allow for more outdoor dining. This includes allowing for tables along the sidewalks within the downtown and in the parking areas outside the downtown.
We, as a community, need to continue to work together to determine how we can best make our way through these unusual times. Let’s work together so that when our businesses are able to open, everyone feels comfortable getting out and supporting them.