San Mateo considers millions in COVID relief for small business

San Mateo County supervisors on Tuesday will consider providing millions of dollars in financial relief for small businesses negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The board will discuss three items related to business relief.

First, they will consider allocating $2 million of American Rescue Plan Act funds for small businesses that have not received other relief funding in the past year.

If approved, the 2021 SMC Strong Small Business Assistance Program would provide 200 grants of $10,000 each to qualifying small businesses.

The program would require businesses to submit a short preliminary application and then grantees will be randomly selected.

Second, the county will consider allocating $500,000 to micro food businesses, such as cottage food operators, caterers, food trucks and food carts.

These businesses will be eligible for grants of $2,500, $5,000 or $10,000 each depending on the type of business. To be eligible, businesses must have a permit from the County’s Environmental Health Services Division. Those that received grants from previous grant programs will not be eligible for this funding.

Third, the supervisors will consider introducing an ordinance that would allow food sales from home kitchens.

The “Microenterprise Home Kitchen Operations” ordinance will create a process for permitting home kitchens under the county’s Environmental Health Services Division, in accordance with state law.

If approved, the ordinance would apply countywide and permit home kitchen operations for a two-year pilot period.

The supervisors will consider allocating $238,000 of federal funds to the Environmental Health Services Division for administrative costs related to regulating the home kitchen operations.

Supervisors will also consider allocating an additional $62,500 to provide $2,500 grants to permit holders under the pilot program.

Tuesday’s meeting begins at 9 a.m. The meeting will take place virtually via Zoom. People can access the meeting agenda and a video streaming link online.

Those wishing to provide public comment can access the meeting via Zoom at or by phone at (669)900-6833. The meeting ID is: 958 0951 2148.

People may also email public comments about specific agenda items to boardfeedback@smcgov.org.

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