SoCalGas Donates $525K to Help Restaurants Survive COVID-Driven Downturn – Los Angeles

SoCalGas announced Monday that it had made a second $525,000 donation for the California Restaurant Foundation’s Restaurants Care Resilience Fund. The fund was created to assist small eateries affected economically by the coronavirus epidemic.

Additionally, the utility encouraged restaurant owners who met certain criteria to apply for $3,000 grants between April 15 and April 30. 

Applications are available at restaurantscare.org/resilience.

“These grants aim to support equipment upgrades, employee retention and deferred maintenance, allowing small restaurants to recover after nearly two years of incurring debt, losses and shouldering rising costs,” according to a company statement.

According to the company, grants will be available for California-based restaurant operators with less than three units and less revenue than $3 million. Priority will be given for restaurants that are owned by women or people of color. 

The fund granted 318 grants last year to independent restaurant owners across the state. According to SoCalGas, 65% of the restaurants are women-owned and 83% are owned by people who are of color. 

The company stated that the fund will provide grants worth nearly $1.5 million to small businesses in this year’s fiscal year. 

“Restaurants and the families and employees that run them showed incredible resilience and strength as they adapted their businesses to serve all of us during the pandemic,” said David Barrett, vice president and general counsel at SoCalGas and a California Restaurant Foundation board member. 

“Last year’s grants provided essential support to local restaurants as they struggled to keep their doors open. This year, grant funds will provide support for kitchens or crews, while overall supporting restaurant resiliency.”

SoCalGas’ partnership with the California Restaurant Fund is part of its ASPIRE 2045 sustainability goals, which the company says “includes a commitment to invest $50 million to drive positive change in diverse and underserved communities over the next five years.”

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