City of Lancaster logoThe City of Lancaster won a Bronze Rank for its Restaurant Rescue Package, a project in the category of Resiliency, Recovery and Mitigation of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). The honor was presented today at an awards ceremony during the IEDC Annual Conference, which is currently underway.

“We are grateful to receive this award for a program that was critical to the City’s economic survival during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Mayor R. Rex Parris. “The Restaurant Rescue Program was truly a total-City effort involving City Staff, local businesses, and all of our residents who participated to keep our local businesses thriving.”

IEDC’s Excellence in Economic Development Awards recognize the world’s best economic development programs and partnerships, marketing materials, and the year’s most influential leaders. 25 award categories honor organizations and individuals for their efforts in creating positive change in urban, suburban, and rural communities. Awards are judged by a diverse panel of economic and community developers, following a nomination process held earlier this year. IEDC received over 500 submissions from 4 countries.

The Restaurant Rescue Package was a multi-pronged approach to assisting our local restaurants, wineries, and breweries that were impacted by the restrictions put in place by the State and County.

Since on-site dining was prohibited and eateries were restricted to takeout and delivery options only, the “Take Out & Chill” portion of the program encouraged residents to purchase from our local businesses. The City provided thousands of “Take Out & Chill” cards worth $20 each to our healthcare workers, first responders, essential workers, and residents to be used at the businesses that enrolled in our program. Businesses who enrolled in the program were provided a grant to help offset any costs associated with the anticipated ramp-up in customers, including bringing back some laid-off employees. A two-month bill credit was applied to the businesses that are customers of the City’s utility company.

Additionally, the City covered the cost of first year memberships to the California Restaurant Association, the group that spearheaded the legal battle to keep businesses open. Lastly, the City sponsored the first-ever “Taste the AV” event, which was held through the month of January and encouraged participation through the completion of a food passport and the ability to win various prizes.

“The winners of IEDC’s Excellence in Economic Development awards represent the best of economic development and exemplify the leadership that our profession strives for every day,” said 2021 IEDC Board Chair and Invest Buffalo Niagara, President, and CEO Tom Kucharski. “We’re honored to recognize the more than 100 communities whose marketing submissions, projects, and partnerships have improved regional quality of life.”

We’re incredibly honored to recognize the outstanding organizations that received this year’s Excellence Awards. More than ever, this year has presented opportunities to innovate, impact, and progress the cities, neighborhoods, and communities around us.

To learn more about this and other City of Lancaster programs, visit

About the International Economic Development Council:

The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) is a non-profit, non-partisan membership organization serving economic developers. With more than 5,000 members, IEDC is the largest organization of its kind. Economic developers promote economic well-being and quality of life for their communities by creating, retaining, and expanding jobs that facilitate growth, enhance wealth and provide a stable tax base. From public to private, rural to urban, and local to international, IEDC’s members engage in the full range of economic development experiences. Given the breadth of economic development work, our members are employed in various settings, including local, state, provincial, and federal governments, public-private partnerships, chambers of commerce, universities, and a variety of other institutions. When we succeed, our members create high-quality jobs, develop vibrant communities, and improve the quality of life in their regions. Learn more at