Recovery & Reopening

Charting which Santa Cruz County businesses received Restaurant Revitalization Fund grants — and for how much

More than 100 businesses received funds from the Small Business Administration with an average of $309,423 awarded to Santa Cruz County businesses.

More than 100 Santa Cruz County businesses were awarded grants from the Small Business Administration via the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF).

The RRF program was part of President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan and in total, awarded over $28.6 billion to more than 100,000 businesses nationwide.

In Santa Cruz County, 109 businesses received a total of $33,417,774.54 in funding. Gayle’s Bakery in Capitola and Alderwood in Santa Cruz were the two biggest winners gauged by dollars received, at $2.7 million and $1.9 million, respectively.

“Our funds are being used 100% for salaries and wages,” Gayle’s owner Gayle Ortiz said in an email. “Our staff is the lifeblood of our business.”

Small business owners are still dealing with the consequences of the pandemic, with marginalized groups facing...

“In mid-march when spring break was happening, we realized how understaffed we were,” Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing co-owner Emily Thomas said. “[We] used that money really for labor.”

The brewery, located at 402 Ingalls St. in Santa Cruz, was awarded $162,356.96. Thomas said the funds have been paramount in helping hire more than a dozen new employees and providing raises for existing staff who have been with her through the course of the pandemic.

“For people who worked through COVID, there’s this deep burnout,” Thomas said.

In total, more than 36,000 businesses in California applied for an RRF grant. The SBA awarded 15,988 with more than $5.7 billion funding across the Golden State.

To view the complete list of recipients visit the SBA website.

Previous coverage