CORONAVIRUS

Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance forgoing $25K from hotel-motel tax revenue funds used to help fund farmers market

First of the season Cedar Rapids Downtown Farmer's Market scheduled for June 6, with adjustments for social distancing

Crowds fill 2nd Ave SE during the summer's first Cedar Rapids Downtown Farmers' Market on Saturday, May 26, 2018. (Cliff
Crowds fill 2nd Ave SE during the summer's first Cedar Rapids Downtown Farmers’ Market on Saturday, May 26, 2018. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — The Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance is forgoing $25,000 they were previously awarded from the City of Cedar Rapids’ Hotel-Motel Tax Revenue Funds.

Hotel-Motel tax revenue is down dramatically since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Even if hotel reservations rebound after the pandemic, the Hotel-Motel Tax Revenue Funds would not be fully funded by its next round of awards, the Economic Alliance announced in a statement Wednesday.

“For there to be any swift and meaningful economic recovery once it’s safe to return to our daily lives in the community, it’s essential our arts and cultural community is strong, ready and open for business,” said Doug Neumann, Executive Director of the Economic Alliance. “We have amazing attractions and can offer a rich and rewarding experience to our residents and visitors. Like so many organizations, these places have all been hurt by the effects of the pandemic.”

The Economic Alliance was planning to use the Hotel-Motel Tax Revenue Fund for the Cedar Rapids Downtown Farmers Market this year.

The first market is scheduled for Saturday, June 6, however, it will be adjusted to comply with public health standards and social distancing guidelines. There will be more details about how the Cedar Rapids Downtown Farmers Market will function in the next few weeks.

This also will make the market less costly to produce.

“When we factor in the lower than anticipated event expenses, so we are in line with public health guidelines, we see more value in these funds being allocated to arts and cultural organizations that add to our excellent quality of life in Cedar Rapids,” Neumann said.

The Economic Alliance’s decision to forgo Hotel-Motel Tax Revenue Funds would not be possible without the financial support of the many sponsors of the Downtown Farmers Market, including the presenting sponsor Cedar Rapids Bank & Trust, according to a news release.

Comments: (319) 368-8664; grace.king@thegazette.com

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