Local restaurants are getting help from DoorDash and a statewide association for the hospitality industry.
The Virginia Restaurant, Lodging & Travel Association gave $3,500 awards to businesses after over 690 restaurants in Virginia applied for relief. Egg Karne, Pho2000, Spice Town, and Sully’s Pour House in Herndon as well as Sprout Café in Reston were among the nine recipients in Fairfax County.
According to a county news release, Qaiser Aziz of Spice Town said the restaurant lost nearly 30% of its revenue during the pandemic, noting a big chunk of its lunchtime business decreased due to physical distancing as well as business and office closures.
“These restaurateurs are building businesses and community, and they continue to give back in spite of the hardships they have faced over the past year,” the VRLTA said in a news release. “Many have adapted and pivoted to offer online ordering, takeout, delivery and outside dining, and they are looking forward to a better year in 2021.”
The association joined forces with the online food ordering platform DoorDash to give out money to small restaurants that had operations disrupted, saw reduced revenue, or experienced financial stress between March and December 2020.
The 2021 DoorDash Restaurant Operator Relief Grant program was part of DoorDash’s Main Street Strong Pledge and did not require businesses to be a DoorDash partner to be eligible, the VRLTA said.
To be eligible for the grants, businesses had to have no more than three locations with 50 or fewer employees and annual gross revenue of $3 million or less for the specific location that was applying.
VRLTA and DoorDash allocated a total of $450,000 in grants to 128 restaurants in Virginia.
Fairfax County noted eight of the local recipients also received money from the Fairfax Relief Initiative to Support Employers that the Board of Supervisors established last year to give financial assistance to local businesses and nonprofits.
With the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issuing new mask guidance for fully vaccinated people, Virginia has eased its mask mandate, and major retailers such as Starbucks and Walmart have also lifted restrictions in stores for vaccinated customers, but businesses can still impose restrictions.
Under Gov. Ralph Northam’s current public health order, restaurants and other food service venues are limited to 100 people indoors and 250 people outdoors, and different groups of patrons must be kept at least six feet apart. However, the state will end those and other capacity and distancing restrictions on May 28.
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