Patio payoff: Southern Alberta community shares outdoor furniture with businesses

To help local restaurants survive the pandemic, the City of Lethbridge is now offering a 50 per cent matching grant of up to $1,000 to help cover the cost of outdoor barriers, furniture and heaters for any business needing to expand outdoor seating.

The Town of Okotoks has announced an initiative to help eligible business owners serve customers while abiding by Alberta's current COVID-19 restrictions.

Officials said Friday that it would offer sets of patio furniture in support of the downtown business community.

"Each patio package includes three square dining tables, six patio chairs, two freestanding umbrellas and five stand-alone patio planters filled with annuals. The planters can be used to define a space for the patio sets," the Town of Okotoks said in a release.

The furniture can either be set up on private property or businesses can come up with a proposal to use municipal space, such as parking lots.

There are only three sets up for grabs in the pilot project, officials say, and if there are more than three requests for the equipment, the businesses will be selected via a random draw.

Employees with the Town of Okotoks will then deliver the sets to the winning businesses and assist in setting up the furniture for the season. The workers will then return at the end of the season to collect the patio packages.

Businesses interested in applying for one of the packages can email Okotoks Economic Development before Monday, June 7 at noon.

Winners will be selected and notified within 48 hours.