- Uber and Visa have provided $1 million in grants to small businesses who are active on Uber Eats across 10 U.S. cities, the companies wrote in an email to Restaurant Dive.
- The Grants for Growth program, which was administered by the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, awarded 100 merchants with $10,000 each to go toward immediate needs.
- The recipients, who were selected by LISC, were primarily entrepreneurs of color (92%), female owners (69%), and businesses that were in low- or moderate-income communities (88%).
Now that Restaurant Revitalization Fund grants and Payroll Protection Program funds are all but gone, restaurants have few funding options to support pressing financial needs. The National Restaurant Association issued a letter to the Small Business Administration earlier this week to ask for lower interest rates on COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loans and to make it easier to pay those loans off. Independent restaurants continue to struggle to pay rent and meet other financial obligations even though diner traffic has improved across the segment.
Several companies, including DoorDash and Grubhub, have provided grants to help restaurants in need since the beginning of the pandemic. DoorDash launched DoorDash Capital to provide cash advances to partner restaurants and other small businesses earlier this year. Last year, it offered a Disaster Relief Fund, and has provided millions of dollars to small restaurants in various markets. Also in 2021, Grubhub provided $2 million in grants to LGBT business owners and partnered with the Restaurant Strong Fund to create a separate $2 million Restaurant Stronger Grant.
The Uber/Visa program was focused on companies owned by veterans, minorities, women and LGBT operators in Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Miami, Detroit, the New York City metro/New Jersey area, the San Francisco Bay Area, Philadelphia and Boston. Grants can be put toward payroll, paying outstanding debt to vendors, upgrading payment technology infrastructure and other operational costs. Merchants also received disaster recovery and resiliency guides from Uber and LISC.