Financial Assistance Available For Those Affected By COVID

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As Malibu restaurants make the shift from traditional, in-person dining to delivery and take-out driven sales, many are feeling the financial crunch. Around Malibu, signs have sprung up advertising local eateries are open for business, catering exclusively for take-out during the COVID-19 crisis.

Two more programs are offering funds for those affected by the ongoing pandemic.

FEMA is offering funding for funerals for those killed by the deadly virus. Those who have lost loved ones to COVID-19 may apply for FEMA funeral assistance by calling 844.684.6333 any time between 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. 

The applicant must be a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national or qualified alien. 

The deceased person need not be a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national or qualified alien; the only two requirements are that the funeral expenses were incurred after Jan. 20, 2020, and that the death certificate officially attribute the death to the coronavirus. There is no deadline to apply.

According to the City of Malibu’s website, when FEMA first opened this assistance, the call center received thousands of calls, which created technical issues and delays. Applicants are asked to understand that FEMA is working on the issues and to have their documents at the ready. 

Between April 11 and 18, local restaurants may apply for grants from the California Restaurant Foundation (CRF), a nonprofit that invests in restaurants across California. The grants offer up to $3,500, plus a year of technical support. The money should be used on payroll and other related expenses to free up funds for other expenses such as rent and outdoor dining retrofitting, according to a press release. 

“To qualify, the restaurant must currently be open and have experienced a revenue loss of at least 20% from 2019-20,” the press release stated. Women and people of color-owned businesses will be prioritized in grant selection. Applications can be found at restaurantscare.org/resilience.