Since the emergence of the pandemic, Fairfax City has been working towards providing relief for businesses and keeping visitors/patrons connected. Through a number of COVID-19 Recovery initiatives, one program that has been successful for Fairfax City restaurants is the Fairfax City ReConnected Outdoors Program (FCRO) – Winter Preparedness Initiative (WPI). WPI is a component of FCRO intended to support Fairfax City restaurants during the cooler months by providing micro-grants to sustain outdoor dining operations with a measured and temporary expansion of outdoor dining. Through Fairfax City’s WPI, restaurants were able to receive funding for supplies that would help keep visitors warm, safe and socially distanced. Since outdoor dining was a popular and recommended course of action for mitigating the spread of the virus based on feedback from Fairfax City’s Outdoor Dining in City Square, WPI targeted a need amidst COVID-19 challenges.
To make it convenient for Fairfax City visitors and patrons to navigate their way throughout the city and know which restaurants are part of the WPI program, the Economic Development Office created an interactive map. Individuals are able to use the interactive map to help with providing information on Outdoor Dining status, participating businesses’ information and what type of resources they currently have for Outdoor Dining. Currently, restaurants are at different statuses for their winter dining. For example, if a business has the current status of “Established,” this means that their restaurant has outdoor dining in place and ready to accommodate visitors during the cooler months ahead. Other businesses have the status of “Pending,” which translates to outdoor dining resources coming soon!