Restaurant, Brewery & Winery Relief Grants

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Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

What is the Restaurant, Brewery, and Winery Relief Program Grant Program?


The Restaurant, Brewery, and Winery Relief Program will provide grants of up to $10,000 each to qualifying establishments to ensure continued operation and assist in covering current business operating expenses, including, for example: rent, payroll, and facility modifications needed to accommodate on-site indoor and outdoor dining.




What can small business owners use the grant funding to pay for?


The funding must be used to ensure continued operation or assist in covering current business operating expenses, including, for example: rent, payroll, and facility modifications needed to accommodate on-site indoor and outdoor dining as permitted by the State of California during the COVID-19 state of emergency.




How much grant funding will be awarded to eligible applicants?


Up to $10,000 each to qualifying establishment.




Will businesses have to pay the money back?


No, these emergency grants won’t require any repayment. However, fraud may result in prosecution.




When will the application period open?


The application portal is tentatively scheduled to open on Monday, February 22, 2021 and remain open until Monday, March 8, 2021 at 12:00pm. Learn more and check back often about when the application portal is set to officially open at www.smcstrong.org.




When will the application period close?


The application portal is tentatively scheduled to open on Monday, February 22, 2021 and remain open until Monday, March 8, 2021 at 12:00pm. Learn more and check back often about when the application portal is set to officially open at www.smcstrong.org.




Is there an application fee?


No. There is no fee to apply. There are no processing fees if you receive a grant.




Will the application be available in languages other than English?


Yes, the application will be available in English, Spanish, Chinese and Tagalog.




Does the applicant need to be a US citizen or legal resident to apply?


No. Undocumented business owners who can provide required evidence of eligibility and required documentation can apply.




How many grants will be approved in this first round of applications?


As many as possible. But if all grants are the $10,000 maximum, then every $1,000,000 in grant funding will equal 100 grants.





Eligibility

Which Restaurants, Breweries, and Wineries are Eligible?


  • Applicant operates one of the following:
    • a “restaurant,” which, for purposes of the Program, means a restaurant, with a brick and mortar physical location within San Mateo County and a full-service kitchen on site. Under this definition, corporate-owned franchises, pop-ups, food trucks, home-based business or a catering company, cottage food operator, or a microenterprise home kitchen operation are not restaurants and are ineligible for grants; or
    • a “brewery”, which, for purposes of Program, means a brewery in possession of an active California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Type 23 (Small Beer Manufacturer) License, with a brick and mortar physical location within San Mateo County; or
    • a “winery”, which, for purposes of the Program, means a winery in possession of an active ABC Type 2 (Wine Grower) License, with a brick and mortar physical location within San Mateo County.
  • The establishment for which the grant is sought was being lawfully operated prior to March 11, 2020, when a local state of emergency was proclaimed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Applicant is providing food service or sale of food- or beverage-related goods from the establishment as of the time of grant application.
  • Applicant’s establishment has been adversely economically impacted by the COVID-19 public health emergency.
  • Applicant owns no more than five restaurants, breweries, and/or wineries within the jurisdictional boundaries of San Mateo County. (Applicants with multiple establishments may submit an application for each qualifying establishment.)
  • Applicant must be in full compliance with all applicable regulations for the establishment including, but not limited to regulations related to the following:
    • County Environmental Health Permit
    • County/City planning and building requirements
    • State/County/City business and ABC permits
    • State and local minimum wage requirements
    • Health officer orders and other orders related to the COVID-19 public health emergency
  • Applicants must possess and present a copy of government-issued photo identification.
  • Establishments that have changed ownership since March 11, 2020 and otherwise meet the Program criteria above are eligible.




Which Restaurants, Breweries, and Wineries are NOT Eligible?


Applicants will be ineligible for a grant from the Program under the following circumstances:

  • Incomplete applications.
  • Failure to meet the eligibility criteria outlined above.
  • The applicant’s establishment has received or been approved for a grant from any of the following programs:
    • Small business relief program managed by Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center, approved by the Board of Supervisors on October 20, 2020 (Resolution 077791)
    • San Mateo County Strong Fund Small Business Grant administered by the Community Fund, approved by the Board of Supervisors on November 10, 2020 (Resolution 077828) (recipients of grants from earlier San Mateo County Strong grant programs are eligible for the Program)
    • The establishment has received over $200,000 in revenue from participation in the “Great Plates” program
  • The establishment operates in a hotel without a separate business license.
  • The applicant is a pop-up, food truck, home-based business or a catering company, cottage food operator, or a microenterprise home kitchen operation.
  • The applicant is a corporate-owned franchise.





Program Administration

What is the plan for outreach and ongoing fundraising?


Outreach for the Program will be comprehensive and involve both County and partner agencies, to include SAMCEDA, local Chambers of Commerce, and restaurant, brewery, and winery trade organizations and minority and equity focused organizations such as the North Fair Oaks Community Council, Pescadero Community Council, Peninsula Chinese Business Association, Latino Leadership Council of San Mateo County as well local print, TV, social, and ethnic media outlet.

The outreach effort will include targeted engagement with municipal government leadership to solicit participation in the program and encourage matching funding if feasible. In addition, broad efforts will be made to involve and communicate with local community organizations and trade organizations across the county.

Staff anticipates that outreach may include some of all of the following:

  • Awareness campaign for grant application prior to pre-application period
  • Use of public agency and elected official social media and email resources
  • Announcement at public events, briefings, and media calls
  • Request for municipalities to contact restaurants with business licenses
  • Request for County Environmental Health to contact permitted restaurants
  • Conduct physical and digital flyer drops to restaurants via community partners
  • Media alerts to local print and digital traditional and social media entities
  • Activities will be conducted in multiple languages and with a priority on ensuring equity





Outreach and Ongoing Fundraising

What is the plan for outreach and ongoing fundraising?


Outreach for the Program will be comprehensive and involve both County and partner agencies, to include SAMCEDA, local Chambers of Commerce, and restaurant, brewery, and winery trade organizations and minority and equity focused organizations such as the North Fair Oaks Community Council, Pescadero Community Council, Peninsula Chinese Business Association, Latino Leadership Council of San Mateo County as well local print, TV, social, and ethnic media outlet.

The outreach effort will include targeted engagement with municipal government leadership to solicit participation in the program and encourage matching funding if feasible. In addition, broad efforts will be made to involve and communicate with local community organizations and trade organizations across the county.

Staff anticipates that outreach may include some of all of the following:

  • Awareness campaign for grant application prior to pre-application period
  • Use of public agency and elected official social media and email resources
  • Announcement at public events, briefings, and media calls
  • Request for municipalities to contact restaurants with business licenses
  • Request for County Environmental Health to contact permitted restaurants
  • Conduct physical and digital flyer drops to restaurants via community partners
  • Media alerts to local print and digital traditional and social media entities
  • Activities will be conducted in multiple languages and with a priority on ensuring equity