Restaurant Relief Coming for Santa Barbara, Santa Ynez Valley

Elaine F. Stepanek Foundation Restaurant Fund Issuing Grants Up to $10,000

Credit: Daniel Dreifuss

As restaurants continue to struggle with the economic and operational challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, a new round of relief grants is poised to help owners cope in the City of Santa Barbara and Santa Ynez Valley, including the foodie hub of Los Alamos. 

This week, the Elaine F. Stepanek Foundation Restaurant Fund, in collaboration with the Santa Barbara Foundation, announced a program for grants of up to $10,000 that restaurants can use to cover everything from incorporating required safety guidelines to covering rent, utilities, payroll, and food costs, so long as the latter come from regional purveyors. 

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“Our local restaurants are a vibrant and important part of our community,” said Dan Gainey, president of the Elaine F. Stepanek Foundation in a press release. “With this fund, we hope to give some of our small, independently owned restaurants which have been severely impacted by COVID-19 some financial assistance to support their basic needs in the short term when there are gaps in federal, state, and local funding. We strongly believe that providing support to these businesses will benefit the entire community.”

The grant program is explicitly open to “small, independently owned, dine-in restaurants” with gross incomes of $3 million or less each year, and they must show at least a 25 percent loss in any quarter of 2020 (compared to 2019) to qualify. Special considerations will be made for newer restaurants that cannot show 2019 budgets, but they must have opened before March 1, 2020.  

Applications are being accepted now until Monday, February 22. Click here for more information. 

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