Together with American Express, we have launched Backing Historic Small Restaurants, a national search for the cozy cafes, delicious dives, and other beloved restaurants that have stood the test of time and served their communities for decades—but now are facing their biggest challenge yet from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our mission: award $1 million in grants to 25 historic and culturally significant restaurants throughout the United States to help them improve, upgrade, and preserve their exterior physical spaces and online businesses. The program has a preference for restaurants owned by underrepresented groups, including People of Color and women, disproportionally impacted by the pandemic. It will be administered by the National Trust.
Note: Nominations closed at 11:59 p.m. ET on March 9, 2021. Selected restaurants will be notified by early May.
The criteria for this grant program are as follows:
- Have experienced significant financial hardship due to the impacts of the pandemic.
- Have contributed to the neighborhood’s history and/or the identity of a particular neighborhood or community for at least 25 years.
- Be a small/independently owned restaurant located in a historic building and/or historic neighborhood.
- Preference will be given to businesses owned by underrepresented groups, including People of Color and women, disproportionally impacted by the pandemic.
- Priority will be given to small restaurants who have not already received significant COVID-19-related aid.