Backing Historic Small Restaurants Grant Program Terms and Conditions

Applications for the Backing Historic Small Restaurants Grants Program ("Program") will be accepted, for this application period, from March 11, 2024, at 9:00 am Eastern Time through March 25, 2024 March 27, 2024, at 11:59 pm Eastern Time ("Application Period"). Applicants to the Program (each a “Participant”) are subject to and agree to the follow terms and conditions (“Terms”).

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: The Program is intended to support small historic restaurants in the United States as they recover from disasters and/or other hardships with a preference for small businesses owned by underrepresented groups, including people of color, those with disabilities, women, and others. This program seeks to assist a broad array of restaurants that have contributed to their neighborhood’s history and identity and that help tell a diverse story about cuisine and community in America. For the purposes of this Program, a restaurant is defined as: a business that cooks and serves food items on the premises.

ELIGIBILITY: For the purposes of this Application Period of the Program, eligible restaurants are those businesses (i) that have a physical location (meaning “brick-and-mortar” location) that operate in an older or historic main street, downtown or commercial district in the United States or United States territories, including local, state, or National Register of Historic Places designations (individually or contributing to a historic district), in a Main Street community, or in old buildings; (ii) that are located in a community that has been disproportionally impacted by disasters or other hardships; (iii) that employ fewer than 100 employees (including the company owners); (iv) that are a registered business entity in good standing in the state in which it was formed and the state in which it does business (e.g., not an unincorporated contractor or self-employed individual); and (v) that are not part of a national franchise. Digital-only businesses are not eligible (digital includes, without limitation, online and application-based businesses). Applicants must be an owner of the eligible small business and 18 years of age or older. A preference may be given to eligible small businesses that are: Asian, Asian American, and/or Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander-owned businesses; African American or Black-owned businesses; businesses owned by persons with disabilities (meaning an impairment of the body and/or mind, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)); Hispanic or LatinX-owned businesses; LGBTQIA+-owned businesses; Indigenous-owned businesses (including American Indian or Alaska Native); and woman-owned businesses. Please refer to the Program webpage ( for a complete list of eligibility criteria. Membership in the National Trust for Historic Preservation in the United States (“Sponsor”) is not required to be eligible for the Program. Employees and independent and seconded contractors of the Sponsor, American Express Company (“American Express”), and their respective parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, and advertising and promotion agencies, and members of their immediate family (spouse and parent, children and siblings and their respective spouses, regardless of where they reside) and persons living in the same household, whether or not related, of such employees, are not eligible to participate. The Program is subject to all applicable federal, state and local laws, regulations, and government-imposed rules and requirements. By submitting an application, each Participant agrees to abide by these Terms, the terms of any grant agreements issued, and decisions of Sponsor and American Express, which shall be final and binding in all respects relating to this Program.

HOW TO SUBMIT AN APPLICATION: During the Application Period, to submit an application, visit and follow the directions provided to complete and submit the application form, in its entirety, in accordance with the instructions provided ("Application"). Limit one (1) Application per eligible restaurant. Applications generated by script, macro, or other automated means or by any means which subvert the submission process are void. All Applications become the sole property of the Sponsor. Certain business information from the Application will be provided to American Express, specifically the name of the business, business location, finances of the business, and the underrepresented group to which the business belongs, if applicable.

APPLICATION RESTRICTIONS: Applications must be true, complete, and verifiable and the original work product of the Participant. No part of the Application may have been previously published, have won previous grants associated with this Program, or infringe upon the copyrights, trademarks, rights of privacy, publicity or other intellectual property or other rights of any person or entity.

By submitting an Application, the Participant represents and warrants that the Application conforms to these Terms and understands that Sponsor and/or American Express, in their sole discretion, may disqualify the Application for any reason, including, without limitation, if it determines that the Application fails to conform to these Terms in any way or otherwise contains unacceptable content as determined by Sponsor.

PUBLICITY GRANT/USE OF ENTRIES: If selected by Sponsor and American Express as a grant recipient of the Program (“Grant Recipient”), the Grant Recipient hereby grants to Sponsor, American Express, and their respective designees, successors, licensees, and assigns a nonexclusive, non-transferable license to reproduce, distribute, and display Grant Recipient’s business name and logo (“Grant Recipient IP”); underrepresented group affiliation, and Grant Recipient quotes and statements (in written or recorded oral form), materials and photographs submitted in the Application, and other information shared by Participant with Sponsor and American Express (collectively “Grant Recipient Information”) with media outlets/press and on Sponsor’s, Sponsor’s program partners, and American Express’ platforms including social media for advertising, promotional, and other purposes, without further compensation, notification, or permission. Participant acknowledges and confirms that Participant’s submission of the Application, shall serve as Participant’s consent to use Grant Recipient Information as outlined herein where Participant is selected as a Grant Recipient. Participants agree that Released Parties (as defined below) are not responsible for any unauthorized use of Applications and/or Grant Recipient Information by third parties. Neither Sponsor nor American Express have any obligation to make use of the rights granted herein.

JUDGING: Applications will be reviewed, among other things, based on the need and use for grant funds and Participant’s commitment to its local community and other Program criteria. All decisions of the Sponsor and American Express are final and binding. Sponsor will not reveal the judging scores for any Application in any phase, including, without limitation, during or at the conclusion of the Program.

GRANT RECIPIENT NOTIFICATION: Grant Recipients shall be deemed potential grant recipients (“Potential Grant Recipients”) until such time as the conditions of this notification provision are satisfied. Potential Grant Recipients will be notified by telephone, US-mail, and/or email (“Notification”) and will be required to execute and return a grant acceptance form or grant agreement (“Grant Acceptance Form”) within ten (10) days of the date of issuance (“Notice Period”). If: (i) a Potential Grant Recipient does not respond to the Notification within the Notice Period, or (ii) the Grant Acceptance Form is not returned within the Notice Period, or (iii) a Notification is returned as undeliverable, where sent via email or US-mail, or (iv) a Potential Grant Recipient is not in compliance with these Terms, the Potential Grant Recipient shall forfeit the Grant (as defined below) and, at Sponsor’s sole discretion, a runner-up may be selected.

GRANTS: Grant Recipients will receive a grant in the amount of USD $50,000 payment (“Grant”). Selected restaurants will receive funding in two payments: (1) $40,000 initial payment within 45 days of execution of the grant agreement, and (2) one $10,000 payment upon 100% completion of public-facing improvements. Grantees will be required to submit documentation on the work completed to date to receive grant distributions as specified below. Any and all federal, state, and local taxes are the sole responsibility of the Grant Recipient. Grant Recipients may not substitute, assign, or transfer a Grant. All terms and conditions and details of the Grant are at Sponsor’s sole discretion and shall be outlined in the Grant Acceptance Form. Limit one (1) Grant per restaurant and/or Potential Grant Recipients. The Grant must be used as follows: (i) at least $40,000 must be used towards exterior improvement(s); up to $10,000 of the $40,000 can be used for the support of a preservation partner to help scope, manage, develop, or collaborate on the improvement project; and (ii) up to $10,000 can be allotted for unrestricted uses such as general operating expenses or any other business-related expenses for the restaurant. Selected restaurants must complete exterior improvements by December 16, 2024. Any changes to the project completion date must be approved in advance by the National Trust. Final grant disbursements will only be made once the restaurant has completed their approved project(s).

RELEASE OF LIABILITY: By participating, each Participant agrees to release, indemnify, discharge, and hold harmless Sponsor, American Express, and their respective parents, affiliates, subsidiaries, and advertising and promotion agencies, and the respective officers, directors, shareholders, employees, agents, and representatives of the forgoing (collectively, “Released Parties”) from any and all injuries, liability, losses, and damages (collectively “Claims”) of any kind to persons, including, without limitation, death, or property resulting, in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, from Participant’s participation in the Program or any Program-related activity, where such participation is in violation of these Terms and the Program, the acceptance of the Grant, and/or Sponsor’s or American Express’ use of the rights granted herein.

GENERAL CONDITIONS: Released Parties are not responsible for lost, late, incomplete, damaged, inaccurate, stolen, delayed, misdirected, undelivered, or garbled Applications, messages, email, mail, or other communications of any kind; or for lost, interrupted or unavailable network, server, Internet Service Provider (ISP), website, or other connections, availability or accessibility, or miscommunications or failed computer, satellite, telephone or cable transmissions, lines, or technical failure or jumbled, scrambled, delayed, or misdirected transmissions or computer hardware or software malfunctions, failures or difficulties, or other errors or difficulties of any kind whether human, mechanical, electronic, computer, network, typographical, printing or otherwise relating to or in connection with the Program, including, without limitation, errors or difficulties which may occur in connection with the administration of the Program, the processing or reviewing of Applications, the announcement of the Grants or in any Program-related materials. Released Parties are also not responsible for any incorrect or inaccurate information, whether caused by site users, tampering, hacking, or by any equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the Program. Released Parties are not responsible for injury or damage to any Participant's computer or other device related to or resulting from participating in this Program. Participants who tamper with or abuse any aspect of the Program, who act in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner, or who are in violation of these Terms, as solely determined by Sponsor, will be disqualified and all associated Applications will be void. Should any portion of the Program be, in Sponsor’s sole opinion, compromised by virus, worms, bugs, non-authorized human intervention or other causes which, in the sole opinion of the Sponsor, corrupt or impair the administration, security, fairness or proper submission of Applications, Sponsor reserves the right at its sole discretion to suspend, modify or terminate the Program and, if terminated, at its discretion, select the Potential Grant Recipients from all eligible, non-suspect Applications received prior to action taken using the judging procedure outlined above or as otherwise deemed fair and appropriate by Sponsor. CAUTION: ANY ATTEMPT TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE THE PROGRAM WEBSITE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THE PROGRAM MAY BE IN VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS AND SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, SPONSOR RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK DAMAGES AND OTHER REMEDIES (INCLUDING ATTORNEYS’ FEES) FROM ANY SUCH INDIVIDUAL TO THE FULLEST EXTENT OF THE LAW, INCLUDING CRIMINAL PROSECUTION.

REQUEST FOR GRANT RECIPIENTS LIST: For the Grant Recipients list (available after June 14, 2024), send an email to by no later than September 3, 2024 or visit to view the published list.

SPONSOR: National Trust for Historic Preservation in the United States, 600 14th Street NW, Suite 500, Washington, DC 20005.

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