San Mateo County Supes Approve $1M Coronavirus Aid Program

·2 min read

SAN MATEO COUNTY, CA — San Mateo County's Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved $1 million in relief funding for restaurants, breweries and wineries at its board meeting.

The county matched a $1 million contribution from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, bringing the total pool available to small businesses impacted by the pandemic to $2.3 million.

Qualifying restaurants could receive grants of up to $10,000 each to offset revenue losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic and continue operations.

Restaurants, breweries and wineries with a physical location in the county are eligible to apply. Pop-ups and food trucks are not eligible.

“This program is a financial lifeline to help our great San Mateo County restaurants, breweries and wineries stay afloat while we await a more stable health and business environment,” said Supervisor Don Horsley, who co-sponsored the proposal with Supervisor Warren Slocum.

“I look forward to the return of our crucial hospitality industry.”

Applicants that received grants from other programs - such as the small business grant programs in the county – are not eligible for grants under the new program.

Discussions about the relief fund began in December 2020.

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative committed $1 million to the fund, to be used specifically for restaurants in East Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Redwood City, Palo Alto, unincorporated Menlo Park and unincorporated North Fair Oaks.

Along with the board's $1 million contribution, the Silicon Valley Community Foundation identified $384,000 that can be used to benefit restaurants in other areas of the county.

“It says a lot about our community that during these tough times so many community organizations are stepping up and coming together to help our small businesses,” Slocum said.

“Together, we can bring some sunshine to these small, locally owned businesses during these dark days.”

The program will be administered by the San Mateo Credit Union Community Fund, through an agreement with the county capped at $50,000.

“Now more than ever the small businesses we love need our help and our support,” said Rosanne Foust, president and CEO of the San Mateo County Economic Development Association (SAMCEDA), which helped to organize the effort.

“This is especially true of our neighborhood restaurants and our local breweries and wineries,” Foust said. “That’s why it’s so vital that we work together to provide them with some financial relief.”

— Bay City News contributed to this report

This article originally appeared on the San Mateo Patch