Grants available for restaurants to cover costs of moving dining outside

The City of Sacramento has made grants available for restaurants to receive reimbursements to aide in temporarily adding or expanding outside dining options. Up to $3,000 is available for eligible restaurants for reimbursement of expenses related to physical improvements needed for outside dining including barricades, lighting and dining furnishings.

“These grants can help local businesses from all communities participate in the Al Fresco program that might not otherwise be able to,” said Councilmember Rick Jennings. “I can’t think of a better way to offer safe dining alternatives during the COVID-19 pandemic, all while enjoying a meal with family and friends.”

“From the beginning, we’ve wanted this program to be an opportunity for neighborhood restaurants all over the city,” said Councilmember Steve Hansen. “From Natomas and Del Paso to Little Saigon and Stockton Boulevard, this financial assistance will be an important catalyst for creative outdoor dining across the range of Sacramento’s diverse restaurants.”

The “Farm to Fork Al Fresco” outdoor dining program was created following Sacramento County’s new Public Health Order, which allows restaurants to begin dine-in services. In addition to an expedited permit process to allow restaurants to provide more outside dining, the Sacramento City Council allocated $1 million from the federal CARES Act funding on May 26, 2020 to support local restaurants participating in the Farm to Fork Al Fresco program.

“It is more important than ever to bring these kinds of opportunities to local small business,” said Assistant City Manager Michael Jasso. “We are pleased to support the variety of restaurants across the city through this effort as we celebrate the diversity that makes our city great.”

To be eligible for funding, restaurants must:

  • Be an independent or locally owned franchise within the City of Sacramento;
  • Have a current City of Sacramento Business Operations Tax Certificate (BOTC);
  • Provide receipts for purchases of physical improvements dated no earlier than May 18, 2020; and
  • Execute a Grant Agreement with the City of Sacramento, (NOTE: Some restaurants will be working through their Property and Business Improvement District (PBID) on both permitting, execution of Grant Agreement and reimbursement).

Applications for the program will be accepted through July 15. Guidelines for funding for the Farm to Fork Al Fresco program, as well as translated information, is available at Citywide outreach to restaurants, cafes and coffee shops for the Farm to Fork Al Fresco grants began earlier this week in anticipation of the application process beginning today and will continue until the grant program concludes.

City staff are available to assist local restaurants through the process from start to finish. Email or call (916) 808-7196.

Find more details on the program and learn how to apply by watching a webinar that was previously recorded on Facebook here and YouTube here.

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