City Of Walnut Creek Approves $1M Restaurant Grant Program

January 21, 2021 8:00 am · 20 comments

Calling the move more of a life preserver than a lifeboat, the Walnut Creek City Council this week unanimously approved a grant program to help keep local restaurants afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic until they can once again open for in-person dining.

Full-service restaurants can now apply for grants of up to $10,000, and bars and restaurants considered “limited-service” or “fast casual” can receive up to $5,000 to help pay for rent, payroll, improvements and winterization of outdoor dining areas, construction of takeout windows and COVID-19-related indoor improvements.

The council had discussed the program’s basics in mid-December, but a key change made since then was to fund the program with $1 million from the city’s general fund, rather than the $500,000 originally planned. The bigger cash infusion, Assistant City Manager Teri Killgore said, is to help more restaurants, not to give the same number of restaurants more money.

“It’s not going to save any one restaurant, but given our good fortune with some year-end savings, it seemed like the responsible thing to do what we could to help our businesses,” Killgore said.

There are approximately 200 restaurants in Walnut Creek. Collette Hanna, the city’s economic development manager, estimated about 150 of them would qualify for grants based on basic criteria needed to qualify.

Council members acknowledged restaurants aren’t the only type of business in trouble. Councilwoman Cindy Darling said gyms, personal care businesses and others were suffering greatly, too, during the pandemic.

“We don’t have enough money to solve all the problems,” she said.

Killgore said restaurants have been affected in a more tangible way than most other business types.

Also, “Our downtown is heavily dependent on restaurants for its vitality,” she said.

Killgore also noted restaurants also make up a significant share of the city’s sales tax revenue, approximately 17 percent.

It will be mid-February at the earliest before any restaurant owners see money from the city.

Exit 12A January 21, 2021 at 8:10 AM

Can you say “bail out”?

Exit 12A January 21, 2021 at 8:10 AM

Can you say “bail out”??

JJ January 21, 2021 at 8:10 AM

But, but what about retail?

Neiman Marcus closed. Anyone want an avocado green kitchen, I mean building?

How did the city ‘save’ one million dollars? Inquiring minds would like to know.

ilovepopcorn January 21, 2021 at 10:22 AM

That is a hideous color when I think about it. Ha ha. The only time I would go to Neiman Marcus was to eat in their popovers in their little diner. My sister n law used to spend over a thousand dollars for purses. She had oddles bucks.

Pulse January 21, 2021 at 12:39 PM

what has alway kept me out of Walnut Creek for shopping and dining is the parking.
Two hour parking is one thing, metered parking is another.
After 6pm. shouldn’t have limits

Kauai Mike January 21, 2021 at 8:18 AM

we’ll all be on the dole before this ends…

Jeff (the other one?) January 21, 2021 at 3:51 PM

that is the goal.

remember January 21, 2021 at 8:33 AM

will the city leaders support businesses over blm and antifa terrorists as well?

Chuq January 21, 2021 at 8:51 AM

This is a good thing. The pandemic won’t last forever, if we can give restaurants a lifeline now they can still be here when we can dine in again.

Same January 21, 2021 at 10:22 AM

Every little bit helps, but little bits don’t help much.

idiots everywhere January 21, 2021 at 8:55 AM

Many restaurants invested in heaters/tents etc. with option of extending outside dining through Winter. We all know this got yanked by state. I think this is reasonable use of city funds. We need these restaurants in place when things open back up to get the revenue stream going again. Glad the city financial outlook is better then expected. Unlike the Federal Govt this isn’t borrowed money from China.

Amateur Teacher January 21, 2021 at 9:05 AM

$1 million? Did the same accountant to run that number as the one time $600-2000 stimulus? Nice job WC. Maybe they can buy more paper straws.

garbear January 21, 2021 at 9:18 AM

Excellent use of my tax dollars…Good for Walnut Creek….

ilovepopcorn January 21, 2021 at 10:19 AM

It is good news. I am pleased with the good news lately.

JJ January 21, 2021 at 11:58 AM

Guess that is better than throwing more money at big ticket venues run by the city that have never turned a profit.

Oh, but those are line items. This is ‘extra’.

Gititogether January 21, 2021 at 10:21 AM

It’s something…I guess. But really, the “fix” will occur when commonsense returns; outdoor dining, zero tolerance for violent, racist, criminal “demonstrators”, and return to indoor dining asap.

LL Cool J January 21, 2021 at 10:21 AM

No reason to remain closed for a virus that will 99% not kill you. I do not consent to this fear mongering. I do not consent to the Luciferian mask-wearing ritual or six feet distancing (look it up – it’s true). I do not consent to any of this. Go ahead if you want to. I do not consent!

Chris January 21, 2021 at 10:28 AM

I made a recommended to the city council to erect a large black fist with the words Black Lives Matter and then create a Wall with all the names of those unfortunate souls who lost their lives to Black on Black crime in our progressively-run cities as a reminder to all how the truth lies.

Martinezmike January 21, 2021 at 12:21 PM

Thanks to Joe Biden and the democrats, our nation will learn to heel.

Ricardoh January 21, 2021 at 10:39 AM

We had a big day yesterday and we need a place to talk about it.

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