Outdoor dining Manhattan Beach

Siblings Jacquie and Ryan McCourt enjoy coffee while waiting for their takeout order at Simmzy's in Manhattan Beach on Friday, December 4, 2020. The city has allowed the repurposing of outdoor dining spots to public right-of-way and general public seating, as a workaround to the county's dining ban. (Photo by Brittany Murray, Press-Telegram/SCNG)

To help struggling restaurants in Manhattan Beach ride out the coronavirus pandemic, Skechers has created a matching gift program and has already distributed more than $600,000 in grants to 28 local eateries, according to Michael Greenberg, president of the company.

The Skechers Restaurant COVID Relief Fund, which will match single donations up to $500,000, is a grant program to assist local restaurants limited to take-out and delivery during California's latest stay-at-home order.

Applicants can use grant money for employee salaries and rent or operations costs, according to Skechers.

“These funds not only validate the care residents have for local restaurants, but also showcases the vibrancy of our community,” said Greenberg in a statement.

Greenberg added restaurants are the life-blood of a community, offering food, gathering places and jobs. Being a part of the community for nearly 30 years, he said, he wants to help Manhattan Beach restaurants “survive the challenges brought on by the ongoing public health directives.”

The Skechers president said Manhattan Beach’s generosity “never ceases to surprise me” and there has been “endless support and well-wishes pouring in” since the Relief Fund was announced.

Greenberg said restaurant owners and employees have “shared heartbreaking stories of their hurdles.”

“We hope that this campaign started by Skechers and the Skechers Foundation will help carry our local restaurants through these unprecedented times,” wrote Greenberg.

“By no means are we out of the woods yet. We must continue the restaurant relief mission as the ban on outdoor dining in Los Angeles has been extended and will likely continue until February.” 

For more information or to donate, visit https://about.skechers.com/skechers-foundation/

Contact this reporter at mhixon@tbrnews.com or on Twitter @michaeljhixon.com.

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