Patrons stand on the Bear Trap's rooftop bar on The Strip, the University of Alabama's bar scene, Saturday, Aug. 15, 2020, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. More than 20,000 students returned to campus for the first time since spring break, with numerous school and city codes in effect to limit the spread of COVID-19. (AP Photo/Vasha Hunt)

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — City leaders in the home of the University of Alabama are considering $400,000 in aid to help bars that were forced to shut down because of the pandemic.

Bar owners in Tuscaloosa say they are being hurt by a city order that forced them to close for two weeks after students returned to town and hundreds of new coronavirus infections were confirmed. The mandate came after large crowds gathered outside some nightspots waiting to get in.

So officials are considering a package that would provide as much as $400,000 in small business relief. WIAT-TV reports the city's finance committee approved the plan Tuesday, and the City Council could vote on the measure on Sept. 15.

Mayor Walt Maddox proposed spending money from the city's pandemic relief fund to help Tuscaloosa's approximately 30 bars.