Miami-Dade approves $35M aid package for restaurants, employees

Plan is to use 7% of the $474M Miami-Dade received through the CARES Act

Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez (Getty)
Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez (Getty)

Miami-Dade County restaurants and employees in financial straits could see some additional help from the federal government.

Miami-Dade County commissioners on Thursday approved a $35 million aid package for restaurants and their staff, which includes providing $500 checks for laid-off workers, according to the Miami Herald.

The plan is to use about 7 percent of the $474 million Miami-Dade received from the federal government through the CARES Act, the Herald reported.

Commissioners approved two programs, one to provide assistance to independent restaurants and the other to help restaurant employees.

Restaurants’ indoor dining rooms were ordered to shut down earlier this month. Only outside dining is allowed in Miami-Dade, when possible, as well as takeout and delivery. A curfew from 10 p.m. to 6 p.m. is ongoing, requiring eateries to stop serving in time for the curfew.

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One of the programs would make $30 million available to restaurants that have 50 or fewer employees and $10 million or less in annual revenue, according to the Herald. If money is left over, the program will be available to restaurants with up to 75 employees and $15 million in revenue. The program would reimburse restaurants for personal protection equipment as well as up to 80 percent of their rent and 50 percent of food and utilities.

Exemptions to the program include nightclubs, bars and mobile food trucks, along with chains, franchise restaurants or restaurants owned by hotels, the Herald reported.

The other program would invest $5 million into a fund started by FIU’s Chaplin School of Hospitality and the South Beach Wine & Food Festival to provide assistance to laid off employees. Under the fund, laid off employees could receive $500, and restaurants could receive up to $15,000, according to the Herald.

[Miami Herald] — Keith Larsen