MultCo food cart grants ‘can really help us out’

Coronavirus

Deadline to apply is 5 p.m. Tuesday

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — At Food Cart Heaven in Northeast Portland, Gemadi Bekuto runs his Little Ethiopia Eatery, offering vegetarian, vegan and Ethiopian food.

“It’s unique,” Bekuto said.

He recently applied for the Multnomah County grant for restaurants and food service businesses impacted by COVID-19. Food carts can receive $500 per license, restaurants up to $1500 per license.

For many businesses, every bit helps.

“This is a great opportunity. If it’s $500 or $1000, it can really help us out,” Bekuto said.

Last Friday, Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury sent out a tweet reminding businesses to apply before the deadline at 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Multnomah County restaurant/food cart COVID-19 relief grants

Gemadi Bekuto owns the Little Ethiopia Eatery in the Food Cart Heaven pod on NE Glisan in Portland, December 14, 2020 (KOIN)

On the state level, Gov. Kate Brown announced new measures that will eliminate penalties and interest on 2019 income tax for Oregon’s small businesses.

“Small business owners who play by the rules shouldn’t face penalties and fees because COVID-19 has robbed them of their livelihood,” the governor said in a statement.

For businesses like Little Ethiopia Eatery, they’re hopeful more help is on the way.

“I would say most of the food carts need more than $500,” Bekuto said. “So I am hoping something comes up soon to help us out.”

Food Cart Heaven on NE Glisan in Portland, December 14, 2020 (KOIN)

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