Downtown Rome is slowly returning to life as efforts continue to protect all locals from the spread of coronavirus.

Restaurants in Georgia were permitted to resume dine-in service on Monday, though most of those in downtown Rome have chosen to stick with carry-out service at this time, according to Megan Otwell, Public Relations Director for the Rome Downtown Development Authority, who encourages all Romans to support local businesses at this time – they really need it.

A few downtown restaurants – such as Jefferson’s – have opted resume their dine-in service under strict health guidelines to protect patrons. Some of the retailers in that area are beginning to open their doors, like Greene’s Jewelers, which has announced their plans to re-open on Monday, May 4th (just in time for Mother’s Day shopping).

The Ellen Axson Wilson ArtsFest which was scheduled for this Saturday has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 outbreak. In light of this, the DDA has teamed with the Rome Area Council for the Arts to offer a Virtual Arts Week via social media. Artisitic activities have been featured via the DDA’s social media outlets all this week.

Events such as the ArtsFest usually provide a huge boost to the businesses in downtown Rome. They could really use that support right about now, asserts Otwell.

Otwell also alerts local small business owners to stay tuned for details about a community development grant, which will extend federal funding to those that have been negatively impacted by the outbreak. There will be eligibility criteria, as well as an application process. Each approved business stands to receive up to $5,000.