During Tuesday night’s Tuscaloosa City Council meeting, the “Restart Tuscaloosa” plan received a majority vote, but it was not unanimous.

“Restart Tuscaloosa” is a strategic initiative to invest $15 million in public safety, neighborhoods, small businesses, experiences and local agencies.

The city council voted to approve the resolution in support of the Restart Tuscaloosa plan. The plan got 5 yes votes and 2 no votes. District 5 Councilman Kip Tyner said he made the motion for small businesses to receive $1 million under the “Restart Tuscaloosa” plan.

“It’s been unbelievable that many of them have actually been tearful, ” Tyner said. “Then their reaction after the vote last night has been even greater. They’re thanking us. What I say is, ‘you put this money in the community for all these years, this is your money and you know you deserve every penny of it,’ and so my hope is that we can start this soon. I don’t want to hear of another business closing.”

Small businesses owners like Audrey Vermilyea at Monarch Espresso Bar in downtown Tuscaloosa said receiving just a small percent of the $1 million from “Restart Tuscaloosa” would be an absolute game changer.

“I think this is a huge help and a great place to start,” Vermilyea said.

Because the plan did not receive a unanimous vote Tuesday night, it will go before the council for a second vote during the May 19 council meeting. the second vote will have to be a majority vote for the “Restart Tuscaloosa” plan to go into effect.

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