SAN JOSE, Calif. (KRON) — Local Bay Area restaurants are getting some much needed financial assistance as the coronavirus pandemic has forced many businesses to permanently close their doors since the start of shelter-in-place orders. 

Recently DoorDash launched a new grant program to help San Francisco and San Jose restaurants continue to serve customers throughout the winter season. 

The grants are part of a $2 million initiative across six cities in the United States to help local restaurants continue to provide service as they prepare for the cold weather. 

“This program is targeting six cities across the U.S. who have been particularly impacted by in-store dining closures, like San Francisco, as well as those significantly impacted by winter weather, cities like Chicago, New York City,” said Katie Witman, DoorDash Senior Policy Advisor.

“We hope this grant will really help the small businesses, with three stores or less, defray some of the costs of either enhancing their outdoor patio with heaters, or other things that help protect customers against the elements, like tents.”

Since March — many restaurants and businesses have not been able to keep operations running as restrictions by public health departments to stop the spread of coronavirus have been strictly enforced. 

A recent report by Yelp shows San Francisco and San Jose as having one of the highest rates of business closures since the start of shelter-in-place orders throughout the U.S. 

As of Aug. 31 — 8.9 out of every 1,000 businesses in San Jose have permanently closed since March along with 11.3 per 1,000 closing their doors temporarily. 

San Francisco recorded the second-most with 10.1 permanent closures for every 1,000 businesses along with 11.8 temporary closures. 

Courtesy: Yelp

In particular the restaurant industry has been hit hard — Yelp’s study shows a total of 32,109 restaurants listed on it’s site closing its doors with 19,590 of those being permanent. 

The Silicon Valley Organization is helping local businesses apply for DoorDash’s latest “Main Street Strong” initiative which will provide $400,000 to help Bay Area restaurants — $250,000 for SF restaurants and $150,000 for San Jose restaurants.

Recently — SVO called on business members to sign a petition to allow restaurants and places of worship to return with 25 % capacity. 

“We partnered with DoorDash on a number of different community initiatives and one of our roles of responsibility to really promote this program to small minority-owned businesses many of which are our members within the organization,” said Eddie Truong, Director of Government and Community Relations with The Silicon Valley Organization. 

“Our goal is to make sure that this financial assistance program is promoted far and wide in those needious small business owners, small restaurants will have access to those resources to survive for this upcoming winter season.”

Eligible restaurants must be located in San Francisco or San Jose with three or fewer locations operating currently, 50 employees or fewer in 2019, and $3 million or less in 2019 annual revenue per store. 

Hello Alice, an independent third party will manage the application and selection process along with the distribution of funds. 

Applications for the grant will be available Oct. 16 — selected restaurants will receive a $5,000 grant with recipients to be notified by the end of December.