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New COVID-19 Relief for Restaurants

Multnomah County opens applications for grants

11/30/2020, 2:43 p.m.
Licensed restaurants in Multnomah County were given the green light Monday to begin applying for small business grants to help ...
Restaurants, food carts and benevolent groups in Multnomah County can apply for small business grants to offset the cost of restrictions from COVID-19. A photo from AP earlier in the year shows seating restrictions to control the disease taken at a Tigard Red Robin restaurant.

Licensed restaurants in Multnomah County were given the green light Monday to begin applying for small business grants to help them offset the cost of restrictions from COVID-19.

More than $7.6 million in CARES Act funds will be distributed by Multnomah County to restaurants, food carts, bed and breakfasts, and benevolent groups with five or fewer operator licenses, officials said.

The funds are part of $55 million in business assistance grants Oregon has reserved to help small businesses impacted by the pandemic.

Gov. Kate Brown has indicated that counties should prioritize businesses that have been financially impacted by COVID-19 public health measures, with a priority for the hospitality industry, businesses impacted, small businesses, and women, Black, Indigenous, People of Color, and Tribal-owned businesses.

“We’re focused on getting these funds out the door as quickly as possible,’’ said Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury. “These small businesses are the backbone of our community and we will keep fighting at the state and federal level for more help for their survival.’’

Anyone who has held a valid, Multnomah County-issued food service license between Jan. 1 and Sept. 30, 2020 is eligible to receive assistance. Grant amounts are $500 per license for food carts ($2,500 maximum) and $1,500 per license for restaurants and other food service licenses ($7,500 maximum).

The funds can be used for any operational expenses, but cannot be applied to license fees.

“Our operators have lost so much this year, and this won’t relieve the hardship. And at the same time, after a year of being the bearer of bad news, it’s a relief for me to offer some small support,” said Multnomah County Environmental Health Supervisor Jeff Martin. “We have a small window to deliver these grants, so please don’t wait. Get your grant application in by Dec. 15.”

An online application and more information are available at multco.us/businessgrantsdec2020.