Orange County Restaurants Receiving Covid-19 Grants

The general idea behind grants is that this is money given out absent the expectation of a return. So, unlike a loan, a grant doesn’t have to be paid back. This is why when people read news about Covid-19 grants coming out, they read about smaller increments in the hundreds or thousands of dollars, rather than something like government stimulus loans, which are given in billions, yet expect a return on that money. Regardless of the type or the amount, many restauranteurs in Orange County, California are simply happy that they should be receiving another round of grants. It was announced yesterday, August 6, that some restaurants would be receiving $1,000 grants to help with expenses.

Sure, $1,000 doesn’t seem like a lot of money; but for many restaurants in the Orange County area, this little bit can put them over the top for another week of payroll, or perhaps pay down an outstanding utility bill so that they can keep operating. And hundreds of different restaurants in the area are going to be able to apply for these grants, which come out of a larger $10 million pool of the county’s coronavirus relief funds.

However, not just any restaurant can apply for these grants. According to the county’s stipulations, only establishments with “no major health code violations” are eligible to apply. The good news for most restaurants in Orange County is that these establishments are fairly clean and operate by the book, so there aren’t that many with major violations. Though for those who do have violations on their record, they will have to check with the county’s coronavirus relief website to see if they’re still eligible.

The idea behind Orange County’s reasoning here is to encourage the restaurants in Orange County to take seriously the measures put in place to be safe during the virus pandemic. For instance, they want restauranteurs to ensure that everyone wears masks and social distances while working and eating. They want employees to exercise extra cleanliness while we’re going through this pandemic. Failures to adhere to the strict Covid-19 guidelines have resulted in many violations for quite a few area restaurants, and they are the ones most likely now ineligible to receive grants because they weren’t following the rules. These grants, while not a lot of money, are basically a way for government to gently encourage all restaurants in the area to abide closely the guidelines to help stem the spread of the virus with an open economy.

Since California is once again open for business, it falls on its citizens to do the right thing to stop the spread and transmission of the virus. Orange County officials are hoping that the carrot, instead of the stick, will prompt more people to do the right thing to help stop the spread of Covid-19.

Encouragement Seems to be Effective

In some states like New York and Virginia, governments have been very strict instead of encouraging, and all this has resulted in is higher numbers of the virus, as more and more people revolt. Psychologists and other experts claim that people in general, but especially cultural Americans, refuse to be told what to do in their day to day lives. So when people feel as if government is forcing them to do something, they do the opposite just to exercise their freedoms as Americans. This is why officials in Orange County have decided to offer what equates to monetary rewards for people following the rules, instead of rounding up more violators of the regulations. And, so far, it’s working, as Orange County is very low on the list of new cases since the end of May.

Lucy Dunn, president and CEO of the Business Council in Orange County, California, said, “We believe voluntary participation is the best way to go to get the word out.” She’s hoping that by encouraging people to do the right thing, and showing them that they may be rewarded for their efforts, the word will spread from restaurants to salons and bowling alleys and every other type of business, and the curve might ultimately be flattened even more, without the government having to intervene and offer up penalties for noncompliance.

The hope is that when the public sees everyone participating in the regulations, it will catch on as something that they want to do, and not something they feel they’re being forced into. So far, this tactic has shown good results.

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