California’s Energy Companies Unite to Keep Restaurants Cooking
The California Restaurant Foundation (CRF), a non-profit that invests in and empowers California's restaurants and its workforce, has received more than $1.25 million from SoCalGas, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E), and others to launch the Resilience Fund. The fund will provide grants of up to $3,500 to single-unit restaurants across California, with priority given to woman- and person of color-owned restaurants.
“The Resilience Fund will provide critical financial support to our hardest hit small businesses, many of which are owned and operated by women and people of color,” shared Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chair Hilda L. Solis, Supervisor to the First District. “Throughout the pandemic, we have seen the economic impact across the County, leading to greater job loss and reduced hours resulting in less pay for workers. The Resilience Fund will help our small businesses retain their workers and help ease the economic burden of the pandemic as we rebuild for a better tomorrow.”
Grants given by CRF’s Restaurants Care Resilience Fund are intended to be used on payroll and related expenses so the restaurant operator can free up funds for other expenses such as rent, technology upgrades and outdoor dining retrofitting. Additionally, restaurants that receive a Resilience Fund grant will also receive support services and resources to improve their business for the long-term. Over the past year, through the non-profit’s Restaurants Care® program, CRF has helped more than 1,200 restaurant workers, their families and businesses and believes that by investing in the lasting success of these restaurants, we can also preserve jobs and communities throughout California.
“What’s really unique about our Resilience Fund is that it supports the business as well as individual restaurant workers,” said Alycia Harshfield, Executive Director of the California Restaurant Foundation. “a portion of the funds raised will provide grants for cooks, servers, dishwashers and more who face unforeseen hardship and have nowhere else to turn and the rest will go to the restaurant. So yes, we’re helping restaurants keep their crew on payroll, while also offering a safety net for when things get tough. While we’re delighted to see restaurants opening up and COVID cases drop, the recovery will take years and we’re doing what we can to help.”
“There’s a long road to recovery for small businesses, especially restaurants,” said Maryam Brown, SoCalGas president. “With these grants, our goal is to help independent restaurant owners who have been hit hardest by the pandemic and support local restaurant workers.”
Resilience Fund applications will be open from April 11-18, 2021 and can be found at www.restaurantscare.org/resilience. Grants will be available to single-unit, California-based restaurants in the following counties: Alameda, Fresno, Kern, Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, and San Joaquin with a staff of 50 or fewer employees. To qualify, the restaurant must currently be open and have experienced a revenue loss of at least 20% from 2019-2020. Priority will be given to restaurants owned by women and people of color.
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.
“We recognize the hardships that many of our customers are facing from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many local restaurants are struggling to stay open. These are important businesses that bring people together and power local economies. PG&E has long partnered with our small and medium restaurant business customers to help them improve energy efficiency, lower operating costs and improve the performance of their building and cooking systems. We’re supporting the Restaurants Care Resilience Fund to help ensure local restaurants can keep serving their customers and investing in our communities,” said PG&E Executive Vice President and Chief Customer Officer Marlene Santos.
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.
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