Due to the success of last year’s inaugural program, the California Restaurant Foundation (CRF) has partnered again with California’s energy companies to provide $3,000 grants to independent restaurant owners and their staff through the Restaurants Care Resilience Fund. The nonprofit, known for investing in and empowering California restaurants and their workforce, received nearly $1,500,000 for this year’s fund. SoCalGas provided the lead gift of $525,000, and Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) and San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E) returned with contributions of $500,000 and $175,000, respectively. Rounding out the fund is a $250,000 donation from Wells Fargo, which will power support services and resources to assist Resilience Fund grant recipients in improving their business for the long-term.
“We’re thrilled to partner with CRF again and continue helping California’s restaurant community build back stronger and better than ever,” said David Barrett, Vice President and General Counsel at SoCalGas, the Resilience Fund’s lead sponsor. “It was incredibly inspiring to read the stories of resilience from last year’s recipients and help them keep their doors open. This time around, we’re addressing longer term investments that will build a strong, stable foundation for our independent restaurant owners.”
While last year’s Resilience Fund grants were intended to be used on payroll and ‘survival’ expenses – in fact, 73 percent of recipients used the grants to cover labor – this year’s Resilience Fund program is focused on investing and recovering California’s restaurant community. Grant recipients can use this year’s funds for equipment upgrades and employee retention bonuses to alleviate industry-wide staffing issues and deferred maintenance caused by two years of incurring debt, losses and rising costs. The one-year of support services will help restaurants build back and thrive.
“Of last year’s cohort, 64 percent of our grant recipients said conditions are still difficult but improving, and 90 percent said the grant was ‘very important’ to the survival of their restaurant,” said Alycia Harshfield, Executive Director of CRF. “It will take years for the industry to fully recover, which is why we are extremely grateful that SoCalGas, PG&E, SDG&E and Wells Fargo have partnered with us again to invest in our state’s eclectic and extremely resilient restaurant community.”
Resilience Fund applications will be open from April 15-30, 2022 and can be found at www.restaurantscare.org/resilience. Grants will be available to all California-based restaurant owners with less than three units and less than $3 million in revenue. Priority will be given to restaurants owned by women and people of color. Last year, the Resilience Fund awarded 318 grants to independent restaurant owners, 65 percent of which were women-owned and 83 percent color-owned.
The Resilience Fund is currently accepting additional support from corporations, foundations, and individuals who want to invest in California’s 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.
About the California Restaurant Foundation (CRF):
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.