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Grants for Restaurants & Food Service Impacted by COVID-19

Updated: Mar 8, 2021

Beginning today, licensed restaurants and food carts in Multnomah County can begin applying for small business grants to offset the cost of restrictions from COVID-19. The County will begin distributing more than $7.6 million in CARES Act funds to businesses impacted by efforts to slow the spread of the virus.

The County is making grants available to restaurants, food carts, and bed and breakfasts with five or fewer operator licenses. The funds are part of $55 million in business assistance grants that will be administered by Oregon counties to help small businesses. Gov. Kate Brown has indicated that counties should prioritize the hospitality industry.

“We’re focused on getting these funds out the door to the businesses that need them,’’ said Chair Deborah Kafoury. “These small businesses are the backbone of their families and our community and we will keep fighting at the state and federal level for more help for their recovery.’’

The grant program includes businesses impacted by the COVID-19 restrictions, small businesses, and women, Black, Indigenous, People of Color, and Tribal-owned businesses. Multnomah County leads with its values and was pleased to see this set of prioritizations from the Governor.

Anyone who has held a valid, Multnomah County-issued food service license between Jan. 1 and Sept. 30, 2020. The funds are open to owners with 5 or fewer permits. Grant amounts are:

  • $500 per license for food carts ($2,500 maximum)

  • $1,500 per license for restaurants and other food service licenses ($7,500 maximum)

The funds can be used for any operational expenses, but cannot be applied to license fees. Businesses include:

  • Restaurants

  • Food carts (mobile units)

  • Caterers

  • Limited service (prepackaged only)

  • Bed and breakfasts

  • Benevolent organizations

“Our operators have lost so much this year, and this won’t relieve the hardship. And at the same time, after a year of being the bearer of bad news, it’s a relief for me to offer some small support,” said Multnomah County Environmental Health Supervisor Jeff Martin.

“We have a small window to deliver these grants, so please don’t wait. Get your grant application in by Dec. 15.”

An online-application and more information is available at

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