San Mateo County establishes fund for local eateries

Local restaurants have begun to reopen outside dining by utilizing sidewalks and heat lamps.

Samantha Kosman

Local restaurants have begun to reopen outside dining by utilizing sidewalks and heat lamps.

Restaurants, wineries, and breweries have endured many challenges throughout this unprecedented pandemic, leaving them in desperate need of financial support. 

San Mateo County’s Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to allocate an additional $1 million to the current relief fund, which added to the previously donated grants. 

David Canepa, president of the Board of Supervisors, said, “We understand the devastating financial impact on the business community due to the pandemic, and restaurants are among the hardest hit.”

To support local businesses, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative also donated a generous amount of $1 million, and $384,000 came from the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. This created a total of $2.384 million to go towards the recuperation of these businesses. 

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative assigned their donation to the Southern counties to assist small and independently owned restaurants. 

“Many of these independent businesses are desperate for funds to keep their business alive,” said Sasha Heinemann, a senior. “Giving these small businesses the opportunity to get a pretty large grant is going to be a game changer.”  

Many local eateries that have reopened dining and take-out because of the lifting of the stay-at-home order and may be eligible to apply for a grant of up to $10,000, as long as they fit the requirements of the relief fund. 

All applicants must have a “brick-and-mortar” location and must have been open at the start of the pandemic. Each type of eatery must meet certain qualifications. For example, restaurants need to have a full-service kitchen on-site, wineries must have an active Alcohol Beverage Control Type 2 license, and breweries must have a Type 23 small beer manufacturer license.   

These funds may go towards the necessities they’ve struggled with due to the pandemic, such as payroll, rent, health, and safety updates. 

All applicants will be thoroughly and equally considered for the grant and will be placed in a pool of other local businesses. All eligible eateries may apply on the San Mateo County Strong website

However, any businesses that have previously received financial support from the county, applicants that run more than five restaurants, and corporations are not eligible for the relief fund. 

This new relief fund will provide these eateries with the fundamental elements to run their businesses and will save many owners from the worries of owning a business during this pandemic.

“This money could be the reason why a business gets back on their feet,” said Kellie McGuinness, a sophomore.