New grant program from county and CZI to help local restaurants hit by pandemic

by Linda Hubbard on January 26, 2021

The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors today matched a $1 million commitment from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CFI) to help local businesses hit by the pandemic.

The matching grants bring the total pledged to more than $2.3 million to the new Restaurant, Brewery and Winery Relief Program. The applications period for grants of up to $10,000 will open as soon as mid-February.

“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.”

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative pledged $1 million to assist small, independently owned restaurants in southern San Mateo County and Palo Alto.

“Local restaurants are a vital part of any neighborhood — they feed us, employ many , and are places for gathering and building community — but they are struggling to stay afloat amidst the challenges of the pandemic,” said Andrea Jones, director of Community Affairs, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. “As neighbors and community members, we are committed to doing our part to support these local businesses during an incredibly difficult time.”

As COVID-19 health and safety restrictions shuttered indoor and outdoor dining, local leaders late last year launched an effort to create a relief fund that would help these small businesses with payroll, rent, operating expenses, health and safety modifications and other business needs.

Businesses must meet a variety of eligibility requirements that include a “brick and mortar” location in San Mateo County.

The San Mateo Credit Union Community Fund and Silicon Valley Community Foundation joined the effort, identifying $384,000 in funding sources that can be used countywide. The Board’s pledge of $1 million in countywide relief brings the total to $2.384 million.

InMenlo file photo (c) 2020


One Comment

Oli January 27, 2021 at 1:55 pm

Thank you very much for this generous donation. The important thing is that those businesses stay independent, that the initiative is given to businesses without any compensation, eg. that they do not have to start making positive comments on Faceb. or start making advertisements there, what they have not done before. Money should not take away our freedom and independency (will have to read more about that grant whether it is like that 🙂

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