318 California Restaurants Receive Grant + Expert Help to Build Resilience



California Restaurant Foundation's Restaurants Care Resilience Fund has awarded grants up to $3,500 to 318 restaurants across California.
California Restaurant Foundation’s Restaurants Care Resilience Fund has awarded grants up to $3,500 to 318 restaurants across California.

318 California Restaurants Receive Grant + Expert Help to Build Resilience

Resilience Fund to Provide a Boost to Mom-and-Pop Restaurants in Eight Counties

The California Restaurant Association Foundation (CRAF), a non-profit that invests in and empowers California’s restaurants and its workforce, has secured a $250,000 donation from Wells Fargo in support of its Restaurants Care Resilience Fund. The funds will power year-long support services for the Resilience Fund’s 318 restaurant grant recipients, who were selected last week from nearly one thousand qualified and deserving applicants. CRF launched the Resilience Fund in March in partnership with SoCalGas, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) and San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E), who collectively donated $1.25 million to fund grants up to $3,500 for small restaurants, with a portion of the donations going to CRF’s hardship fund for food and beverage workers facing an unforeseen crisis.

“Wells Fargo understands that small restaurants hold the identity of local neighborhoods. We know that it takes more than money to create an equitable, diverse and inclusive recovery,” said Gregg Sherkin, Senior Vice President, Social Impact and Sustainability for Wells Fargo. “We chose to underwrite the small business support services for all the Restaurants Care Resilience Fund grant recipients to ensure long-term resilience. Through this support, small restaurants will be equipped with everything they need to recover and sustain that recovery.”

As part of the year-long support services, the restaurant owners will be welcomed into a cohort and receive discounts, services, peer-to-peer support, and monthly educational learning opportunities led by experts in marketing restaurant businesses, menu review for improving the bottom line and restaurant essentials.

“Together, with the generosity of SoCalGas, PG&E, SDG&E and Wells Fargo, we are helping one of the hardest hit industries, in some of the hardest hit communities,” said Alycia Harshfield, Executive Director of California Restaurant Foundation. “We are inspired by the determination and grit of the restaurants selected for the Resilience Fund grants. Many are multigeneration, family-owned businesses with amazing stories and connections to their neighborhoods. The addition of the small business support services powered by Wells Fargo complements the financial grants provided by the utility companies and both are critical for long-term resilience as we come out of this pandemic.”

Of the 318 grant recipients, 65% are female restaurant owners and 83% identify as people of color. More than 130 grants were given in Los Angeles County, 77 in San Diego County, 62 in San Francisco and Alameda Counties, 29 in Sacramento and San Joaquin Counties and 18 in Fresno and Kern Counties. To qualify, the restaurants had to be single-unit, employ fewer than 50 staff members, be currently open and have experienced a revenue loss of at least 20% from 2019-2020. To see the full list of grant recipients in your area, please visit www.restaurantscare.org/resilience.

“Restaurants support and enhance our way of life in Southern California in a multitude of ways.  The Resilience Fund lets SoCalGas support restaurants back. Let’s bounce back together,” said Maryam Brown, SoCalGas president.

Grants given by CRF’s Restaurants Care Resilience Fund will be used on payroll and related expenses so the restaurant owner can free up funds for other necessary expenses like rent, technology upgrades and outdoor dining retrofitting. Over the past year, through the non-profit’s Restaurants Care program and the generosity of corporate donors, CRF has helped more than 1,200 restaurant workers.

The Resilience Fund is currently accepting additional support from corporations, foundations, and individuals who want to aid in the restaurant recovery. Donations of all sizes are accepted and celebrated at www.restaurantscare.org/resilience.

For more information about the California Restaurant Foundation, Restaurants Care, or the Resilience Fund, please visit www.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 13,500 high school students each year, and scholarships. For more information visit www.calrestfoundation.org.