San Diego Gas & Electric announced Wednesday that it is contributing $200,000 in shareholder funds to a $1.25 million effort by utility companies to support small restaurants in eight California counties whose revenue dropped during the coronavirus pandemic.
Restaurants with 50 or fewer employees and just one location can apply from April 11 to April 18 to the California Restaurant Association Foundation for grants of $2,000 each, SDG&E said. Preference will be given to eateries owned by women and people of color.
"Not only do these diverse, family-owned restaurants add to the cultural vibrancy of our neighborhoods, they are engines of the local economy," said Todd Cahill, SDG&E's director of customer care and a board member of the Association's San Diego County chapter. "Unfortunately, they are also among the businesses hardest hit by the pandemic. We hope these funds will help to accelerate their recovery and that of the industry as a whole."
The foundation says there are more than 90,000 restaurants statewide with more than $72 billion in sales and 1.6 million workers. The grants are intended for use on payroll and related expenses like new hires. Recipients also will get help improving their business.
"What's really unique about our Resilience Fund is that it supports the business as well as individual restaurant workers," said Alycia Harshfield, executive director of the foundation. "While we're hopeful to see restaurants open up and COVID cases drop, the recovery will take years."
Eligible restaurants must be located in San Diego, Alameda, Fresno, Kern, Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Francisco or San Joaquin county. In addition to having just one location and 50 or fewer employees, they must have seen revenue fall at least 20% between 2019 and 2020.
Restaurant owners can click here for more information and to apply for the grants. The Resilience Fund is accepting donations of all sizes from corporations, foundations and individuals who want to aid in the restaurant recovery.