– The grant is part of a $35 million Miami-Dade County Business Grant Program intended to provide immediate financial support to hospitality businesses impacted by COVID-19 closures –


The SOBEWFF® & FIU Chaplin School Hospitality Industry Relief Fund established by the Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival presented by Capital One (SOBEWFF®) and Florida International University have partnered with Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez and Miami-Dade County on a grant program designed to provide immediate financial relief for hospitality businesses impacted by COVID-19 closure orders in the County. A $5 million grant, to be administered by the SOBEWFF® & FIU Chaplin School Hospitality Industry Relief Fund with oversight by the County, will support employees of independently owned and operated restaurants, hotel restaurants, bars, and caterers in Miami-Dade whose businesses have been significantly diminished during the COVID-19 pandemic. Financial support will enable those business owners to provide continuity of compensation to employees who have been furloughed, laid off or whose incomes have been significantly reduced. The disbursement of funds from this new grant will be processed by United Way of Miami-Dade. Eligibility criteria is available at Applications will be accepted beginning Wednesday, August 12 at 12 p.m. EST (noon).

“We commend Mayor Gimenez and his team for stepping up to create this emergency grant program to help the Miami-Dade County hospitality industry during these challenging and unprecedented times,” said Lee Brian Schrager, Founder and Director, SOBEWFF®. “We are also grateful to count United Way of Miami-Dade as a partner in this endeavor, which will aid thousands of hard-working hospitality employees who need our help now more than ever, and who are part of the economic engine of our celebrated industry.”

Since it launched on March 25, 2020, the SOBEWFF® & FIU Chaplin School Hospitality Industry Relief Fund has granted more than $1.6 million to more than 500 local restaurants in South Florida. The $5 million grant received from the County is part of a larger Miami-Dade County Business Grant Program. From this grant program, $30 million is earmarked for a new Miami-Dade County Hospitality Industry Grant (HIG) Program, administered by the County to provide hospitality businesses much needed financial assistance to help sustain them through the most recent County-wide closures. Funds from the County’s grant program can be used for expenditures that will allow the businesses to remain viable and cover expenses incurred as of March 1, 2020. For more information on the Miami-Dade County Hospitality Industry Grant (HIG) Program, including eligibility requirements, please visit

“We recognize the hardship this shutdown has placed on the local hospitality community in Miami-Dade County and want to do our part to offset those financial burdens,” added Mayor Gimenez. “We remain committed to balancing the priority of public health with the preservation of our local economy and are pleased to partner with the SOBEWFF® and FIU Chaplin School team, who were one of the first to launch and successfully execute a hospitality relief initiative in South Florida. Our goal with this latest effort is to quickly deliver financial relief to help sustain those hospitality businesses so they are positioned to reopen and rehire when we overcome this crisis.”

“FIU and the Chaplin School are so thankful to Miami-Dade County for its support of our efforts, which have helped more than 500 business owners and thousands of employees to date,” said Michael Cheng, dean of the Chaplin School. “We are also grateful to count United Way of Miami-Dade as a partner in this endeavor which helps us give hope to hospitality workers and to our students, who are the future leaders in the industry, that our local government and community supports them, and that hospitality will thrive again.”

Funding for the Miami-Dade County Business Grant Program has been made available under section 601(a) of the Social Security Act, as added by section 5001 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”). The CARES Act established the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) and appropriated $474M to Miami-Dade County of which has been allocated to various areas of need.

For more information, to donate to the SOBEWFF® & FIU Chaplin School Hospitality Industry Relief Fund, or to apply for a relief grant, please visit

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