Uber and Visa just announced a new small business grant program to support independent restaurants in 10 cities.
The Grants for Growth program offers $1 million, distributed in grants of $10,000 to 100 merchants. To qualify, businesses must be active on Uber Eats as of January 1, 2022. Restaurants and food businesses must have no affiliation with a national brand, have fewer than five locations, 50 or fewer employees per location, and annual gross revenues of less than $3 million per location, as of 2019.
Additionally, the program focuses on businesses in the following cities:
- Los Angeles
- Washington DC
- NYC Metro/New Jersey
- San Francisco/Bay Area
The Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), a nonprofit community development organization will evaluate applications and select recipients. The program prioritizes businesses owned by veterans, women, LGBTQIA+, and minority entrepreneurs.
Restaurant Business Grant Program from Uber and Visa
Grant recipients can use grant funds toward immediate needs like payroll, paying vendors, rent and utilities, upgrading payments technology, and operating expenses. In addition to grant funds, Uber and LISC are offering extra benefits to selected restaurants. These include disaster recovery and resiliency guides and priority placement in the Uber Eats app.
The overall goal of the program is to support independent food business, which have struggled more than most industries over the past two years. Even after shutdowns and closures lifted in most parts of the country, new struggles have emerged. According to the National Restaurant Association’s State of the Restaurant Industry Report 2021, the biggest hurdles include finding and retaining staff, absorbing higher food prices, and navigating slowed in-person visits. While grant funds may not permanently solve all these problems, programs like this can at least help more independent businesses stay afloat while they find solutions.
Sarfraz Maredia, VP of US and Canada Delivery at Uber said in a statement, “We know that this year has been trying for many and that independently-owned businesses continue to face significant business challenges. From natural disasters to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Uber and Visa are committed to supporting SMBs, especially through unexpected events, when they may need us most.”
Interested businesses can apply for the grants online. Applications will be available on LISC’s website between January 17 and 24. You can also sign up starting Jan 10 to be notified exactly when applications open. According to LISC, the application should take less than an hour to complete.
MORE INFORMATION ON BUSINESS GRANTS:
- Cities and Counties Offer Small Business Grants to Relieve COVID Stress
- Start 2022 on the Right Foot with These Local Small Business Grants Opportunities
- Last Chance for These Small Business Grants in January
- Small Business Grants Support COVID Revitalization Efforts in Communities Across the U.S.
- How to Get Small Business Grants