Small Businesses Struggling During Pandemic Receive Relief Through Grants

What to Know

  • Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava presented $2,300 grants to 34 businesses around Miami-Dade
  • The South Beach Wine and Food Festival privately raised $1.7 million to help struggling restaurant owners around South Florida

The pandemic continues to have an economic impact on small businesses and restaurants, but some much needed relief may be on the way. 

On Wednesday, Miami-Dade County Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava presented 34 small businesses in Miami-Dade with Mom and Pop Grants. 

“It helps each of them to stay in business during these difficult times,” Cava said.

Each recipient received $2,300 in grant money and the funds will allow business to use the money for minor renovations, marketing and to purchase supplies and equipment. During the pandemic, recipients can also use the funds to pay wages to their employees or pay their rent or mortgage for their commercial space.

“How this grant will help is due to the shutdown that happened during the epidemic, none of the fabrics could be transported over from India and now I’ll be able to purchase the fabric. I am very happy that I was chosen. That way I can get the assistance that I need for my business,” said Michelle Bell, owner of Bell Clothing and Accessories Company. 

The South Beach Wine and Food Festival also stepping up to help by offering up grants to those out of work or struggling in the hospitality industry. 

Starting at noon on Wednesday, employees of independently owned restaurants, hotel restaurants, bars and caterers strictly in Miami-Dade can apply for a grant from a $5 million dollar fund. This is part of $474 million from federal Cares Act money sent to Miami-Dade County. 

“There are tens of thousands of employees who are out of work whose unemployment is running out so we’re hoping to offer a little relief to these people,” said Lee Brian Schrager, founder of the South Beach Wine and Food Festival. 

Back in March, Schrager was able to privately raise $1.7 million dollars to help take care of struggling restaurant employees in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach County.

Schrager says he was critical of Mayor Gimenez after he restricted indoor dining, but after speaking with the mayor, he says he was able to help secure this new $5 million dollar grant in relief funds. 

“Imagine these people, a lot of them probably are 100% out of work and if not, their hours are reduced down greatly. If a restaurant is open serving meals outside, if it’s raining one night, everyone goes home, so imagine how much this money is needed,” said Schrager. 

Those seeking to apply for this grant can do so here.

“We’re doing everything we can to turn it around quickly. We are working with United Way and they’re actually administering the money. So once we vet it and approve it, United Way is acting as a clearing house for the money,” said Schrager.