SoCalGas announced Monday it has made a second $525,000 donation to the California Restaurant Foundation's Restaurants Care Resilience Fund, which is designed to aid small eateries impacted economically by the coronavirus pandemic.
The utility also encouraged qualifying restaurant owners to apply for $3,000 grants during the application window of April 15 to April 30.
Applications are available at restaurantscare.org/resilience.
“These grants aim to support equipment upgrades, employee retention and deferred maintenance, allowing small restaurants to recover after nearly two years of incurring debt, losses and shouldering rising costs,'' according to a company statement.
Grants will be available to all California-based restaurant owners with less than three units and less than $3 million in revenue, the company said. Priority will be given to restaurants owned by women and people of color.
Last year, the fund awarded 318 grants to independent restaurant owners statewide. Sixty-five percent of the restaurants are woman-owned, and 83 percent are owned by people of color, according to a SoCalGas statement.
This year, the fund will award nearly $1.5 million in grants to small businesses, the company said.
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“Restaurants and the families and employees that run them showed incredible resilience and strength as they adapted their businesses to serve all of us during the pandemic,'' said David Barrett, vice president and general counsel at SoCalGas and a California Restaurant Foundation board member.
“Last year's grants provided essential support to local restaurants as they struggled to keep their doors open. This year, grant funds will provide support for kitchens or crews, while overall supporting restaurant resiliency.”
SoCalGas' partnership with the California Restaurant Fund is part of its ASPIRE 2045 sustainability goals, which the company says ``includes a commitment to invest $50 million to drive positive change in diverse and underserved communities over the next five years.”