The California Restaurant Foundation (CRF), a nonprofit that invests in and empowers California restaurants and their workforce, awarded 184 independent restaurants with $5,000 grants as part of its third consecutive Restaurants Care Resilience Fund. The $2.1 million fund, supported by SoCalGas, The PG&E Corporation Foundation (PG&E Foundation) and San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E), is the largest to date in terms of overall funding, individual grant sizes and grant utilization. Recipients can use the $5,000 assistance for equipment and technology upgrades, unforeseen hardship, employee retention bonuses and employee training, all of which allow California’s independent restaurant owners to invest in the longevity of their business and employees.
Of the 184 restaurants awarded, 89 restaurants are in SoCalGas’ service area, 77 in Pacific Gas and Electric Company and 18 in SDG&E’s. Seventy percent of this year’s grant winners identify as female and 78 percent identify as people of color. More than 80 percent plan to use the $5,000 grants to improve the business itself, with items such as technology and equipment upgrades or to recover from California’s harsh winter storms, while roughly 20 percent will invest the funds back into their people via retention bonuses and training. To qualify, the restaurants needed to have five units or less, and less than $3 million in revenue. To see the full list of grant recipients, please visit www.restaurantscare.org/resilience.
“We received a record-breaking number of applications this year — 25 percent more than last year — so it’s apparent that there’s an immense need to support independent and locally-owned restaurants throughout the state,” says Alycia Harshfield, Executive Director of CRF. “It’s wonderful to receive support from SoCalGas, the PG&E Foundation and SDG&E for the third year in a row, as the aid we can provide via the Resilience Fund is more impactful with their involvement. Let’s continue to support local restaurants who keep our diverse communities full of vibrant flavors and personalities!”
Impressively, the Resilience Fund has provided financial assistance to nearly 1,000 independent restaurants across California in three years. The Resilience Fund is currently accepting additional support from corporations, foundations and individuals who want to invest in California’s vibrant restaurant community. Donations of all sizes are accepted and celebrated at www.restaurantscare.org/resilience.