Feb 22, 2021 · 2 min read

CZI Commits $1 Million to Support Local Restaurants Impacted by COVID-19

Many silver steel tables and chairs in closed cafe restaurant pattern outside outdoors, nobody, on street, closed umbrella
Tables and chairs at a closed restaurant | Photograph by krblokhin via iStock

As restaurants across the country and Bay Area face unprecedented challenges due to COVID-19,  the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) has partnered with local stakeholders on the new effort to assist independently-owned local restaurants with $10,000 grants through two newly-established grants programs: the San Mateo  County Restaurant, Brewery and Winery Relief Program,  and the Palo Alto Restaurant Relief Grant Program. CZI committed $1 million to the programs, which support restaurants impacted by the pandemic in East Palo Alto, Menlo Park, unincorporated Menlo Park, unincorporated North Fair Oaks, Palo Alto, and Redwood City.

Both programs launched on February 22 and will accept applications from qualified restaurants through March 8. Grant funding can be used to assist business operating expenses, including rent, payroll, health and safety modifications, and more.

“Local restaurants are a vital part of any neighborhood — they feed us, employ many, and are places for gathering and building community — but they are struggling to stay afloat amidst the challenges of the pandemic,” said Andrea Jones, Director of Community Affairs, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. “As neighbors and community members, we are committed to doing our part to support these local businesses during an incredibly difficult time.” 

San Mateo County, Chamber San Mateo County, the City of Palo Alto, and the Palo Alto Chamber of Commerce partnered to help launch the two grant programs. More information, including eligibility requirements,  can be found at: 

As a member of the community, CZI is committed to supporting local leaders and organizations to strengthen services, support community members and businesses, and celebrate the vibrancy and diversity of the community. 

CZI has contributed more than $100 million in response to COVID-19, including $11.5 million to assist Bay Area public health agencies, organizations, and school districts in emergency and long-term response to the pandemic, including $1.5 million to support local businesses.


About the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative was founded in 2015 to help solve some of society’s toughest challenges — from eradicating disease and improving education, to addressing the needs of our local communities. Our mission is to build a more inclusive, just, and healthy future for everyone. For more information, please visit chanzuckerberg.com.

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