Grubhub Inc (NYSE: GRUB) has teamed with The Greg Hill Foundation’s Restaurant Strong Fund on an initiative to provide $5,000 grants to independent restaurants struggling to regain their stability in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic tumult.
What Happened: Between May 25 and June 5, the new Restaurant Stronger program will accept grant applications from restaurants with five or fewer locations in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Las Vegas, the Los Angeles metro area, New York City, Philadelphia, Portland, Sacramento, San Diego, the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle and Washington, D.C. Grants will be fully distributed to restaurants by June 11
The program will be supported with a $2 million donation from the Grubhub Community Relief Fund, and it is the second phase of an endeavor that began with the Winterization Grants initiative launched late last year which allocated $2 million in grants to nearly 200 independent restaurants.
“As we start to see the country open up after more than a year of uncertainty, we’re focused on supporting our restaurant partners as they are welcomed back into their communities in full,” said Kevin Kearns, senior vice president of restaurants at Grubhub. “However, we know that reopening comes with its own expenses, so it’s important for us to come together with the Restaurant Strong Fund again to help lift up the industry in this next, and hopefully final, phase of returning to our new normal post-pandemic.”
Why It Matters: Among the economic sectors damaged during the Covid-19 pandemic, the restaurant industry was among the hardest hit.
According to data from the National Restaurant Association, industry ended 2020 with total sales of $240 billion below the association’s pre-pandemic forecast for the year. As of Dec. 1, 2020, more than 110,000 eateries were closed for business, either temporarily or permanently and the industry finished 2020 with nearly 2.5 million jobs below its pre-pandemic level.
Several major companies have launched efforts to assist independents restaurants during the pandemic with grant programs. In February, American Express Company (NYSE: AXP) teamed with the National Trust for Historic Preservation for “Backing Historic Small Restaurants,” which provided more than $1 million to the owners of small, historic restaurants impacted by the pandemic.
In January, PepsiCo Inc. (NYSE: PEP) rolled out “Dig In,” a marketing initiative designed to increase patronage at the nation’s Black-owned restaurants, committing $50 million to help them. The company also debuted the Black Restaurants Deliver program, an eight-week, no-cost consultancy to enable online ordering and delivery capabilities at 400 Black-owned restaurants in more than 40 communities over the next five years.
(Photo by Inspirational Food / Flickr Creative Commons.)
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