LOS ANGELES - Restaurants that have lost business due to coronavirus health regulations in Los Angeles County, which recently cut off in-person dining due to surging COVID cases, can apply this week to receive up to $30,000 in aid.
The Keep Los Angeles County Dining Grant Program officially begins Thursday, allowing eligible eateries -- excluding those in the cities of Los Angeles and Pasadena -- to receive up to $30,000 in assistance for employee payroll, capital to continue operations, payment of outstanding business expenses and adaptive business practices needed to remain open.
A total of roughly $5.6 million is available, split among the county's five supervisorial districts.
Preference will be given to restaurants that provided outdoor dining as of Nov. 24, according to the county. The program will be operated by the Los Angeles County Development Authority.
LACDA officials said restaurant owners who apply must demonstrate that their business was impacted by COVID-19 through hardship due to closure and a reduction in revenue.
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Businesses that have already received assistance from other Los Angeles County Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act programs are not eligible.
"This pandemic and the recent closure of outdoor dining has been devastating to our restaurants and restaurant workers," County Supervisor Janice Hahn said in a statement. "These grants are meant to help as many restaurants as possible make ends meet and make it through this crisis. We know it won't be enough. We need another federal stimulus package to get a lifeline to all of our businesses and workers that are struggling."
Supervisor Kathryn Barger, who opposed the county's recent decision to temporarily end in-person dining, said restaurants have made "incredible sacrifices" to align with public safety protocols.
"These restaurants -- the vast majority of which employ fewer than 25 people -- truly represent the small business community that drives the county's economic engine," Barger said. "The recent health officer orders to close in-person dining was a devastating blow and as a result, the board identified the need to immediately deploy grant funding to support these impacted small businesses."
The application period will open Thursday morning and remain open through 11:59 p.m. Sunday, or until 2,500 applications are received, whichever comes first.
Additional program information is available at keeplacountydining.lacda.org or by calling 626-943-3833.