In response to ongoing pressures on Pennsylvania restaurants-owners due to COVID, the Pennsylvania Conference for Women has announced $200,000 in new funding to support women-owned restaurants.

This is the second consecutive year the Conference has supported women-owned restaurants. In 2020, in cooperation with the Pennsylvania Restaurant and Lodging Association (PRLA), the Conference distributed $175,000 to help restaurants pay rent and employees, adapt their business model, or meet other restaurant needs.

The 2021 initiative will provide $2,500 grants to more than 80 restaurants. Apply at

The Pennsylvania Conference for Women is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization dedicated to advancing women in the workplace. More than 100,000 people are registered to attend its 18th annual Conference on November 10.

Restaurateur Ellen Yin, owner of Fork, High Street on Market, and other acclaimed restaurants, praised the initiative. “This support from the Pennsylvania Conference for Women recognizes the importance women-owned-restaurants have in our communities and lives,” said Yin, who is also cofounder of High Street Hospitality Group.

Restaurateur Jill Ann Weber with Les Dames d’Escoffier and Sisterly Love Citywide Food Fairs are also supporting the initiative.

Leslie Stiles, Pennsylvania Conference for Women Board President, noted that millions of women were forced to leave the workplace during COVID and added: “As a community of women supporting women, we are proud to offer these grants to women entrepreneurs who are doing the vital work of nourishing our communities on many levels.”

“Restaurants are vital to the state’s economy and quality of life,” says John Longstreet, PRLA president and CEO. “Thanks to these grants, $2,500 can be sent to women-owned restaurants across Pennsylvania for immediate use.”

The grants are made possible through the support of the sponsors and attendees of the Pennsylvania Conference for Women. The Conference is part of the nation’s largest network of women’s conferences, with annual events in Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, California, and Texas that attract more than 50,000 people.

Industry News, Philanthropy