San Mateo County, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative match $1M to help restaurants, breweries and wineries

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A San Mateo County program that will soon provide grants of up to $10,000 to local restaurants, breweries and wineries that are struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic has raised $2.384 million, with help from matching $1 million grants from the County and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.

The grant application period for the Restaurant, Brewery and Winery Relief Program “will open as soon as mid-February,” the County said. Among the eligibility requirements to receive a grant, businesses must have a “brick and mortar” location in San Mateo County.

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative pledged $1 million to assist small, independently owned restaurants in East Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Redwood City, Palo Alto, Unincorporated Menlo Park, and Unincorporated North Fair Oaks. The remainder of the funds, including the $1 million pledged by the County’s Board of Supervisors and $384,000 identified by the San Mateo Credit Union Community Fund and Silicon Valley Community Foundation, will benefit businesses located in remaining cities and towns throughout San Mateo County.

“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.

Added Andrea Jones, spokesperson for the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, “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. As neighbors and community members, we are committed to doing our part to support these local businesses during an incredibly difficult time.”

An application process will be published in mid-February on the San Mateo County Strong website: www.SMCStrong.org.

Additional donations are encouraged San Mateo County Strong Fund, which can be directed to help individuals/families, small businesses, non-profits or “wherever the need is greatest,” or the SMCU Community Fund, which supports financial wellness in the community, including small businesses and child care providers.

Photo courtesy of San Mateo County

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