Staff Report

The Elaine F. Stepanek Foundation Restaurant Fund announced a new grant program today to provide relief for small, independently-owned, dine-in restaurants during the ongoing pandemic. Small businesses in the City of Santa Barbara and the Santa Ynez Valley (including Los Alamos) are eligible to apply for grants up to $10,000.

“Our local restaurants are a vibrant and important part of our community,” said Dan Gainey, President of the Elaine F. Stepanek Foundation. “With this fund, we hope to give some of our small, independently owned restaurants which have been severely impacted by COVID-19 some financial assistance to support their basic needs in the short term when there are gaps in federal, state and local funding related to pandemic relief. We strongly believe that providing support to these businesses will benefit the entire community.”

The Elaine F. Stepanek Foundation Restaurant Fund is a committee advised fund at the Santa Barbara Foundation, which is working to provide additional relief to the community at large. The grant program application period opens on Thursday, February 4, and will close on Monday, February 22.

View the guidelines to learn more about the program and apply:

The Santa Barbara Foundation, the largest community foundation in the region and the county’s go-to resource for investment and capacity-building, strives to mobilize and elevate all residents to thrive. Nearly every Santa Barbara County nonprofit organization and essential community project has been supported by the Foundation during its 93-year history.

The Foundation is working to improve areas that affect quality of life in Santa Barbara County including child care, workforce development, and workforce housing. The Foundation connects those who give with those in need – and all who dream of stronger communities. To learn more, please visit