LOWVILLE — Another group of local businesses trying to find creative ways to adapt to COVID-19 constraints made more difficult by winter weather were awarded grants by the Lewis County Development Corporation.

The Winter Design Challenge Grant Program was created “to stimulate and encourage safe outdoor experiences and unique service solutions” for tourism, entertainment and hospitality businesses.

While many businesses had already found work-arounds for capacity and operation limits put in place to protect their staffs and customers during the spring and summer months, winter made some of those solutions obsolete so the problems require new, cold weather solutions.

Businesses that applied and won up to $1,000 each to make their ideas happen in this round include:

— Lost Trail Snowmobile Club, Boonville: Outdoor warming and welcome station for snowmobilers;

— Maple Ridge Center, Lowville: Warming shelter with patio heaters; a drive-thru ticket area; sanitation station for snow tube park;

— PB&J Café, Lowville: Drive-through window for long-term operations and an online ordering system;

— Plant Powered Period/BOOM! Energy: Several snowshoe and fat bike races in the county throughout the winter;

—Skewed Brewing, Lowville: Signage to promote curbside beer pick-up;

— Southern Tug Hill Sno-Riders, Constableville: Facilitate outdoor spaces with additional seating for snowmobilers at local restaurants and food carts including The Milk Plant Tavern, the Tug Hill Hideaway, Barrows Performance and the Highmarket Inn;

— Towpath Restaurant & Lodge, Turin: Cover and enclose the existing restaurant deck and add an outdoor carpet.

Combined with the $8,570 awarded in the first round of the design challenge, the $6,900 given to these seven winners makes a total of $15,470 invested in the survival of local businesses this winter.

A total of $20,000 was available for the program — half from the Pratt Northam Foundation and half from Lewis County Development Corporation. The remaining funds will be distributed as more businesses with ideas and needs are found, according to executive director of economic development for the county, Brittany Davis.

She said many of the round-one winners have already implemented their ideas and put them to work.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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