Orange County restaurants that prioritize customer safety and worker protections could soon get $10 million in financial support during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Under a plan authored by Orange County Supervisor Andrew Do, restaurants in Orange County that have followed health safety rules and complied with state COVID-19 health guidelines will be eligible to apply for a $1,000 grant from the County.
“We need to support small businesses that are protecting their employees and the public from the spread of COVID-19,” said Supervisor Andrew Do, a former restaurant owner.
The $10 million program, which is funded through the federal CARES Act stimulus package, is a way to incentivize compliance with state and local health guidelines. Restaurants in Orange County that have had no uncorrected major violations from their last routine health inspection will be eligible for the County grant.
“Restaurants drive our local economy, create thousands of jobs and generate millions in local tax revenue,” said Supervisor Andrew Do. “COVID-19 is bankrupting Orange County restaurants, permanently eliminating thousands of jobs.”
Supervisor Andrew Do proposed the plan as an innovative way to increase COVID-19 safety compliance while also supporting small businesses that are keeping their employees and customers safe. In recent months, a handful of restaurants have courted national attention by intentionally flouting state rules. Do’s plan is an effort to bridge the divide and avoid the need for punitive state enforcement measures.
“Let’s avoid the politics, support our job-creating businesses, and keep our community safe,” he said.
Grants in the amount of $1,000 will be awarded to restaurants that adhere to:
- State industry-specific checklist that businesses need to visibly post at their location;
- Post an attestation from the owner of compliance with state rules; and
- Comply with provisions of the Amended Order and Strong Recommendations of the County of Orange Health Officer dated July 3, 2020
The Board of Supervisors unanimously approved Vice Chairman Andrew Do’s proposal at a special meeting July 14.