LOS ANGELES — The food ordering and delivery service Uber Eats will award $10,000 grants to 100 restaurants that use the platform, the company announced Monday.
Available to small business owners that have been affected by COVID and other unexpected events, applications for the $1 million Grants for Growth program will begin Jan. 17 in 10 U.S cities, including Los Angeles and New York City.
To be eligible, restaurants need to have been using Uber Eats as of Jan. 1, 2022. Food entrepreneurs or restaurant owners cannot be affiliated with a national brand or have more than four locations. Each location can have no more than 50 employees, and annual gross revenues in 2019 cannot have exceeded $3 million per site.
The grants can be used for everything from payroll and vendor payments to rent, utilities and technology infrastructure.
“The last two years have been especially difficult for restaurants and even more difficult for independent restaurants,” Uber’s head of U.S and Canada Merchant Operations, Yadavan Mahendraraj, told Spectrum News.
According to the National Restaurant Association, 90,000 U.S. restaurants have closed permanently or long term because of the pandemic.
Offered in partnership with the financial services company, Visa, and administered by the Local Initiatives Support Corp., or LISC, Grants for Growth will favor businesses owned by women and veterans and those who identify as LGBTQIA or BIPOC.
“It has been shown that businesses with a minority ownership have been even more impacted by the pandemic,” Mahendraraj said, citing a MetLife study that found 86% of minority-owned small businesses are concerned about the financial impact of the pandemic on their business’s future compared with 72% of non-minority business owners.
In addition to LA, the grants will be available to restaurants in Boston, Philadelphia, Miami, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Atlanta, Detroit, the San Francisco Bay Area and the New York City Metropolitan area, including New Jersey.
Competition for the grants is likely to be steep. More than 20,000 restaurants in LA alone use the Uber Eats platform.
Interested restaurants can sign up to be notified when the grant applications are open. The grants will be issued by May 31, the company said.