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Jul 26

San Mateo County supervisors boost local business relief

Posted on July 26, 2021 at 9:54 pm by Clay Curtin

The San Mateo County board of supervisors recently provided a lifeline to struggling local small businesses as part of a $2.8 million COVID-19 relief package. The food industry was hit hard by COVID-19 and this latest relief package includes new emergency funds for small-scale food-service entrepreneurs such as food truck operators and other small business hit hard by the pandemic. The Board also launched a pilot program for home-based chefs to prepare food in their own kitchens for sale directly to consumers. 

The Micro Food Business Grant program will distribute $500,000 in grants to eligible cottage food operators, caterers, food truck and food cart operators, commissaries or incubator kitchens. Applicants must have a current small food-service business operating in San Mateo County before Jan. 1, 2021, and meet income and other eligibility requirements. Businesses that received relief under certain previous programs are not eligible.

The Microenterprise Home Kitchen Operators pilot program and grant program includes $238,000 in seed funding. Under the pilot program, home-based chefs can legally make and sell limited amounts of food directly to consumers. Chefs who receive operating permits from the County’s Environmental Health Services division can apply for grants of up to $2,500. Learn how to apply and get additional information about the Microenterprise Home Kitchen Operations program.

In addition, the County allocated $2 million for the 2021 SMC Strong Small Business Assistance program. The program provides a fresh round of funding for local, small businesses affected by the pandemic who did not receive previous county, state or federal relief. Applicants must meet certain requirements for grants of up to $10,000 that can be used for past-due rent, operating expenses and other needs.

Funds for all three programs come from the federal American Rescue Plan or through other state or federal relief programs. Application information for the Micro Food Business Grant Program and 2021 SMC Strong Small Business Assistance Program will be available soon.