In March 2020, the Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival presented by Capital One (SOBEWFF®) has launched the SOBEWFF® & FIU Chaplin School Hospitality Industry Relief Fund to provide immediate financial support to independently owned and operated restaurants and bars impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties.
Grants were provided to independently owned and operated restaurants and bars that had to temporarily cease operations, lay off employees, or whose businesses were severely diminished due to locally mandated closure orders. Financial support enabled those owners to provide continuity of compensation and other benefits to employees who have been furloughed, laid off or whose incomes were significantly reduced due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Fund initially supported the hundreds of restaurants and bars that have participated at SOBEWFF® within the past five years. After that community was served and as the Fund continued to collect donations to finance local relief efforts, it opened up support to any independently owned and operated restaurant or bar in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach county that was negatively impacted by COVID-19-related shutdowns.