Some Prince George’s Co. restaurants get a ‘dash’ of cash to relieve pandemic-related strains

The Board and Brew restaurant in Prince George’s County, Maryland, is a recipient of DoorDash’s Main Street Strong COVID-19 relief grant program.

The Board and Brew restaurant in Prince George’s County, Maryland, is a recipient of DoorDash’s Main Street Strong COVID-19 relief grant program.

The Board and Brew restaurant in Prince George’s County, Maryland, is a recipient of DoorDash’s Main Street Strong COVID-19 relief grant program.

The Board and Brew restaurant in Prince George’s County, Maryland, is a recipient of DoorDash’s Main Street Strong COVID-19 relief grant program.

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The Board and Brew is one of 40 restaurants in Prince George’s County that received a “dash” of funds from food delivery app DoorDash — part of the company’s effort to support and help restaurants succeed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The expansion of DoorDash’s Main Street Strong Pledge program — which the company says is aimed at empowering local communities — added $10 million to their newly-named Main Street Strong COVID-19 relief grant program.

The Board and Brew co-owner and operator Michael Chmar remembers how things were before March of 2020.

“They were phenomenal before the pandemic hit. We were growing at a very good rate. It was lovely. We had just opened our second location, as a matter of fact.”

Chmar chuckled as he told WTOP the date they opened their Philadelphia location — Feb. 5, 2020.

Of course, one month later, the country would feel like a totally different place with mask mandates and shutdowns of just about any place where people could gather from schools, churches, concert venues, shops and more.

When The Board and Brew reopened, it was only the College Park location — for carryout and delivery.

But they also launched their own online platform, Chmar said, “which obviously took a little bit of time to develop a following to it — to drive people there. So that has helped. And we offer delivery through DoorDash, through our point of sale system, which also helps.”

They found out about the grant program because they are a DoorDash user.

“So I applied, figuring it can’t hurt,” Chmar said.

They’ve already received and spent the funds for labor and food costs, but Chmar says it was needed to relieve some financial strain.

“Every penny helps. You know it’s remarkable how the margins in a restaurant, from a profit standpoint, are incredibly thin. So, when you start looking at every penny, $5,000 is big.”

The recipients were listed in the blog for a company called Hello Alice — which helps other businesses start and grow. Hello Alice administers the grants.

Click here for a list of Prince George’s County recipients, and other recipients across the country.

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