Collage of photos of Backing Historic Small Restaurant grantees, 2022

Backing Historic Small Restaurants

Together with American Express, the National Trust for Historic Preservation is again launching the Backing Historic Small Restaurants Grant Program to help restaurants address critical needs amid ongoing economic challenges.

Since it began, the program has granted $2 million to 50 historic restaurants (25 in 2021, 25 in 2022) to help them improve their businesses and positively impact their communities. Now in its third year, Backing Historic Small Restaurants grants will help small restaurant owners navigate supply chain issues, staffing shortages, inflation, and other crises so that their establishments’ legacies can continue.

Today, we are asking for your help to find cozy cafes, delicious dives, and other beloved restaurants that contribute to their neighborhood’s unique history and identity. Our focus is on small or independently owned restaurants that are located in historic buildings or neighborhoods, tell an inclusive story about cuisine and community in the United States, and have been disproportionately impacted by economic challenges, disasters, or other hardships.

Have questions? Please check out our Frequently Asked Questions, or email

The 2023 application period has ended. View the Terms and Conditions, as well as the National Trust Privacy Policy, to understand how the National Trust protects the privacy of participants.