California Restaurant Foundation to Aid California’s Restaurant Community With Annual Resilience Fund

California Restaurant Foundation to Aid California's Restaurant Community With Annual Resilience Fund

SoCalGas, SDG&E and The PG&E Corporation Foundation Return to Strengthen California’s Small Business Owners

California Restaurant Foundation to Aid California's Restaurant Community With Annual Resilience FundThe California Restaurant Foundation (CRF), a nonprofit focused on investing in and empowering California restaurants and their workforce, has proudly partnered with California’s energy companies to launch the fourth consecutive Restaurants Care Resilience Fund. Thanks to the generosity of SoCalGas, The PG&E Corporation Foundation (PG&E Foundation) and San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E), CRF will award $5,000 grants to 278 independent business owners across California. For the first time, commercial caterers are eligible to apply, in addition to independent restaurant owners.

“Our decision to open applications to commercial caterers came after hearing countless stories from catering businesses asking for support, as they too are an essential part of any local food scene,” said Alycia Harshfield, Executive Director of CRF. “The foundation, along with our generous partners, proudly continue our Resilience Fund efforts year after year to ensure California’s independent restauranteurs and food business owners remain an integral part of our state’s vibrant dining community and economy for decades to come.”

Resilience Fund recipients can use the financial assistance to support vital business needs, including kitchen equipment upgrades, technology improvements, unforeseen hardships and employee training programs and retention bonuses. By investing in these critical areas, restaurant owners and caterers can enhance operational efficiency, improve service quality and foster a more skilled workforce. The Resilience Fund is thoughtfully designed not only to provide immediate relief, but also to ensure the long-term resilience and sustainability of California’s restaurant community.

Resilience Fund applications will be open from June 15 to June 30, 2024, and can be found at RestaurantsCare.org/resilience. Grants will be available to all California-based restaurant owners and commercial caterers within the utility companies’ service areas, provided they operate fewer than five units and generate less than $3 million in annual revenue. Priority consideration will be given to restaurants that have not received a grant previously.

“I heard about this grant on the radio and decided to apply. I’m thankful that I did, as our independent restaurant was selected,” said Gina Lee, CEO of Jin Sushi in Downey which received a SoCalGas-funded grant in 2023. “Thanks to this grant, we were able to reward our dedicated staff with well-deserved bonuses. This meaningful support alleviated some of the burdens we were facing and allowed us to express our heartfelt gratitude to our team.”

Founded in 2021 in response to the challenges restaurant owners encountered due to COVID-19 and its aftermath, the Resilience Fund has distributed nearly $6 million in grants since its inception. To date, more than 1,325 grants have been awarded to independent restaurants throughout California, with 66 percent given to women-owned businesses and 77 percent to businesses owned by people of color.

The Resilience Fund is currently accepting additional support from corporations, foundations and individuals who want to invest in California’s restaurant community. Donations of all sizes are accepted and celebrated at RestaurantsCare.org/resilience. For more information about the California Restaurant Foundation, Restaurants Care or the Resilience Fund, please visit RestaurantsCare.org.

California is home to more than 90,000 eating and drinking places that ring up more than $72 billion in sales and employ more than 1.6 million workers, making restaurants an indisputable driving force in the state’s economy. The California Restaurant Foundation is a non-profit that empowers and invests in California’s restaurant workforce. Founded in 1981, CRF supports the restaurant community through relief grants for restaurant workers facing a hardship, job and life skills training for 14,000 high school students each year, and scholarships. For more information visit CalRestFoundation.org.