Hope is on the menu for Grant County restaurants, bars and other food service businesses.
A year after Gov. Kate Brown ordered restaurants and bars to shutter because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the county’s local eateries will soon get a lifeline.
Within the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan signed by President Joe Biden, lawmakers earmarked $28.6 billion to create the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, a grant program for small restaurant owners impacted by the pandemic.
Misty Palmer, an economic development specialist with Grant County’s economic development office, said the new grant program provides eligible restaurants tax-free grants equal to the amount lost due to the coronavirus.
Palmer said the Small Business Association said the awards are calculated by subtracting the 2020 gross receipts from 2019 gross receipts. She said those who own and operate 20 or fewer establishments as of March 13 are eligible. Grants cannot exceed $5 million per individual restaurant.
Palmer said the SBA applications and deadline have not been announced.
Palmer said she has emailed, called and has even hand-delivered flyers to restaurants, bars and small businesses in the county to get the word out to people.
“Restaurants and food carts throughout the county are definitely showing interest,” she told the Eagle.
She said the SBA said applicants for the Restaurant Revitalization Grant program do not need to register for a Data Universal Numbering System, which removes a complicated and timely piece of the system.
The National Restaurant Association dubs eligible expenses like payroll, principle or interest on mortgage obligations, rent and utilities. She also said construction to accommodate outdoor seating, supplies such as protective equipment and cleaning materials, regular food and beverage inventory, and certain supplier costs are also covered.
The flyer states it will prioritize awarding grants for small businesses owned and controlled by women, veterans or socially and economically disadvantage small businesses.
Palmer said she regularly updates the county’s website, grantcounty.net. For other questions, call 541-575-1555.