This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Orange County restaurants operating outdoors can now apply for a grant to help them draw customers this winter.

Under a program launched Friday, the county is offering $1,000 grants to fund tents, canopies, lighting and heaters or warmers for 1,000 restaurants. Applications are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

This page on the county’s website has information on eligibility and the required documentation. Those interested can click here to apply.

Kim Vinson, who owns a small coffee shop chain in the O.C., applied for the grant.

“Every penny is very important,” she said.

Vinson described the hardship of running a business through a pandemic, saying that she appreciates the acknowledgement of the difficulties faced by business owners. She also finds joy from those who continue to support them.

“It’s been extremely hard. It’s been difficult. It’s been confusing,” Vinson said. “It’s been amazing too, to see the customers just love us and are so loyal. You can’t forget the loyalty of people.”

Jennifer McGraw reports for the KTLA 5 Morning News on Nov. 22, 2020.