Multnomah County sends restaurants $5.3 million in CARES Act relief

January 4, 2021


Ryan Yambra, Communications Office, 503-729-1799,

Julie Sullivan-Springhetti, Communications Office, 503-503-274,

On Wednesday, Dec. 30, Multnomah County began issuing checks to qualifying restaurants and food-carts as part of the $5.3 million restaurant relief grant program. The payments started going out less than a month after the program was announced by County Chair Deborah Kafoury on Monday, Nov. 30. The County anticipates that all food businesses that applied and qualified for grants under this program will receive payments no later than Saturday, Jan. 16.

The restaurant relief program was part of a larger $7.6 million in CARES Act relief for small businesses in Multnomah County allocated to the County by the State of Oregon. The State directed counties to prioritize businesses most impacted by the pandemic, including Black, Indigenous, People of Color, and women-owned businesses. The restaurant industry is among those hit hardest by the COVID-19 crisis.

Funds were limited to owners with five or fewer permits. Multnomah County received 2,800 qualifying applications, fewer than anticipated. The unallocated funds were redistributed among the qualifying businesses. Businesses will receive grants in the following amounts:

  • $1,071.83 per license for food carts

  • $2,071.83 per license for restaurants and other food service licenses 

Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury said the relief is desperately needed, but acknowledged that more needs to be done to support struggling businesses.

“Our cherished restaurants are woven into the fabric of our community, and they are among those most deeply impacted by this crisis,” Chair Deborah Kafoury said. “Multnomah County is doing everything in its power to keep these restaurants afloat, and we know it’s not enough. More must be done at the federal level, like U.S. Representative Earl Blumenauer’s RESTAURANTS Act, to help restaurants survive the pandemic.”