The Miami Beach Commission voted unanimously Wednesday to deliver $60,000 in grant money to help the city’s hard-hit restaurant industry.
“Small businesses are what help a City feel like a community – and they have been hit especially hard by the pandemic,” said Mayor Dan Gelber. “This funding will help our mom and pop restaurants by filling in for some of their incurred fees as they shifted to delivery-centric business models in order to operate while keeping customers safe.”
Each eligible restaurant will receive up to $1,000 under a Miami Beach Restaurant Reimbursement Grant that will be on a first-come, first-qualified, first-served basis through an online application process that opens on Nov. 1. The available funds will allow the city to assist approximately 10 percent of the total 628 restaurants that were registered in Miami Beach as of Oct. 7, including 581 restaurant/bar businesses, 37 takeout restaurants and 10 restaurant-only businesses.
“We want to do everything we can to give our restaurants a fighting chance of surviving the pandemic,” added Miami Beach Commissioner Michael Góngora, who sponsored the measure. “Restaurants generally pay out as much as 30% of the cost of each order to third-party delivery services and 15% for services that simply take orders.”
The Miami Beach Neighborhood and Quality of Life Committee at its Oct. 19 meeting recommended that the Miami Beach Commission take action to approve the Miami Beach Restaurant Reimbursement Grant program.
Although restaurants were permitted to remain open during the pandemic, their indoor dining areas were closed for a time and capacity continues to be limited for in-person dining amid social distancing and health requirements.
“This will help local restaurants whose margins were tight even before the pandemic,” explained South Florida Regional Director Lynne M. Hernandez of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association, which has more than 10,000 members.
The Miami Beach Restaurant Reimbursement Grant is open to restaurants in the city that are not part of a chain or franchise. Mobile food trucks, pop-up restaurants, carts, restaurants within hotels, nightclubs, bars without restaurants and home-based businesses are not eligible to apply. Participating restaurants may not have any outstanding code violations, liens, pending litigation, outstanding ad valorem property taxes and must meet all other program requirements.
Interested applicants should visithttps://miamibeachfl.gosmart.orgto review program guidelines and login or create a new profile to preview the application. Applications will be accepted beginning on Sunday, Nov. 1 at 8 a.m.