Multnomah County Opens Grant Program for Bars and Restaurants

The COVID-19 pandemic has hit everyone hard, especially small-business owners. Among those hardest hit are the owners of local bars and restaurants who have had to limit capacity, operate outside dining space only, or close down entirely. Restaurants, especially small ones already operate on small margins, and COVID-19 has been devastating to these business owners and their families. Local and State governments have had to figure out how to help these small-business owners not lose everything in the face of lockdowns and restrictions.

Multnomah County, in Oregon, has opened up a grant program for these businesses to be able to apply for assistance. Eligible businesses will be able to apply for grants from $500-$1500 (per license) if they have experienced COVID-19 pandemic related business interruptions.

This funding is part of a larger amount of $55 million in aid to businesses that Oregon’s Governor Kate Brown announced earlier last month, to be spread all around all of Oregon’s counties, with each county receiving a base of around $500,000 in eligible aid. Counties with larger populations would be able to receive added funds. Each county would then decide how to distribute this funding to businesses.

In Multnomah county specifically, where the county received $7.6 million in total funds, the county decided that they would mostly distribute funds to food-related businesses that had been the most financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here’s who is eligible:

According to the press release put out by Multnomah county, food carts will be eligible to apply for grants of to $500 per license (2500 maximum), with bars and restaurants and other foodservice providers eligible to apply for $1500 in assistance per license ($7500 maximum). Businesses that hold more than 5 licenses are not eligible to apply for these grants. In order to be eligible, the businesses must have held a food license from January to September 2020.

Beyond restaurants, bars, and food carts, caterers, bed and breakfasts, Benevolent organizations, and pre-packaged food providers are all eligible to apply for assistance under this program.

All of these funds were made available through the CARES ACT which passed through congress in March, to provide help to individuals, families, and businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

You can find additional grants for small businesses on

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