September 2021 Business Spotlight
Delivering Relief One Restaurant at a Time
Although Miami Beach restaurants were permitted to remain open with limited capacity during the pandemic, indoor dining areas were closed for a time, thereby limiting in-person dining amid social distancing and health restrictions. These coronavirus (COVID-19) precautions severely impacted business models for the city’s local restaurant industry.
With many restaurants pivoting to pickup and delivery models to keep customers and employees safe, third-party service fees skyrocketed. Business owners quickly realized third-party delivery fees can be as high as 30% of the sale. With local restaurants already operating under tight margins, the pandemic took its toll.
Cheeseburger Baby, located at 1505 Washington Ave., received $1,000 via the Miami Beach Restaurant Grant Program
The City of Miami Beach acted quickly to help. On Oct. 28, 2020, the mayor and Miami Beach City Commission voted unanimously to allocate $60,000 in grant funding to struggling mom and pop restaurants. Under the city program, each eligible restaurant may receive up to $1,000 as reimbursement for delivery service fees from third-party apps like Uber Eats, Grubhub, DoorDash and Postmates among others. Only fees incurred between March 12, 2020 and Oct. 31, 2020 are eligible for reimbursement.
To date, the Economic Development Department has reimbursed $25,706.64 in delivery fees to 26 local restaurants. Restauranteurs are encouraged to apply now while funds are still available.
Who said ice cream and tacos don’t mix? Miami ‘N’ Ice and Dulce Vida Mexican Restaurant both received grants in South Beach.
The Miami Beach Restaurant Grant Program is open to restaurants in the city that are not part of a chain or franchise. Mobile food trucks, pop-up restaurants, carts, restaurants within hotels, nightclubs, bars without restaurants and home-based businesses are not eligible to apply. Participating restaurants may not have any outstanding code violations, liens or pending litigation with the city.
Stephanie Vitori, owner of Cheeseburger Baby, works hard to serve the local community.
Applications are accepted online. The grant money is administered and awarded on a first-come, first-qualified, first-served basis. Interested applicants should visit miamibeachfl.gosmart.org to review program guidelines and submit their application. The program will remain open until all funds are exhausted or through Sept. 30, 2021, whichever occurs first.
Please help spread the word to our local restaurant community. For more information, contact the City of Miami Beach Economic Development Department via firstname.lastname@example.org.