The Dublin Convention & Visitors Bureau is collaborating with businesses in the city's hospitality industry to help them as they get back to work.

Scott Dring, the bureau's executive director, said the Dublin Hospitality Industry Restart Plan was started to implement a unified sales and marketing effort to boost the industry and local economy and recover lost jobs and revenue for the city.

More than 70% of the city's hospitality industry jobs have been lost since March along with "tens of millions of dollars" in revenue for the local economy, Dring said.

The city has contributed financial support to the initiative.

According to a city press release May 12, Dublin City Council unanimously approved spending $300,000 for the program as requested by the bureau.

Vice Mayor Cathy De Rosa said everyone needs to work together to find a way forward during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

"It truly is going to be a collective effort," she said.

The city has incentive funds to support business, and this was a good opportunity to use those funds, she said.

Dring said the bureau is meeting with the city to look at opportunities for creating outdoor dining space for downtown Dublin restaurants, which primarily have seating indoors.

He said they also are working to compile cleanliness initiatives that local hotels, restaurants and retail establishments are creating so the guidelines can be communicated to the public.

"Visitors and residents have to feel safe when they come to our town," he said.

During the pandemic, the bureau primarily has been focusing on promoting the city's outdoor locations to the public, Dring said.

He said the time is not right to begin promoting the city's hotels for travel into the city.

"We're not quite there yet," he said.

In other business, council members also approved providing $360,000 in city hotel/motel bed tax money for financial operating support for the Dublin Arts Council and will forgive lease payments on the council building, owned by the city, through December.

Council also appointed interim director of finance Matt Stiffler to the city's finance director position after a nationwide search. He will receive a salary of $135,000, and a benefits package of roughly $202,500, said Sue Burness, Dublin's director of communications and public information.

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