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It would be an understatement to say the COVID-19 pandemic has been tough on the restaurant industry – nationwide, restaurants made about $ 240 billion less than pre-pandemic projections the year last, with more than 110,000 restaurants closing for good, according to a report of National Association of Restaurateurs. Among the hardest hit, of course, are small restaurant businesses, some of which occupy an invaluable place in the history and cultural fabric of their communities. While PPP loans and government assistance helped some to stay afloat during the long and difficult change of operations, too many remained threatened with permanent closure.
Faced with this risk, American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation announced a new $ 1 million “Support small historic restaurants” grant for “historic and culturally significant restaurants in the United States to help them overcome the impacts of the pandemic and support their financial recovery.” The grant, which will be awarded to 25 small historic restaurants, is designed to provide physical and technological assistance for tasks such as maintaining historic facades, constructing outdoor dining spaces and updating systems. online ordering, as well as technical support, educational tools and training provided by partners of Resy, Main Street America, the National Restaurant Association and the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation.
“For generations, our country’s oldest and most historic small restaurants have been safe spaces where patrons can share meals, ideas and their culture. They are at the heart of our neighborhoods, serve our communities and help advance cultural and social change for them. who live there, ”said Colleen Taylor, US president of merchant services at American Express, in a statement announcing the initiative. “The ‘Backing Historic Small Restaurants’ program will help preserve these spaces not only for their heritage, but also for their deserved place. in the future of our nation. “
To qualify for the grant, eligible restaurants must be small or independently owned, located in a historic building or neighborhood, and have been operating within their community for at least 25 years. Particular attention will be paid to businesses belonging to under-represented groups and those that have not already received significant COVID-19 assistance.
To offer a small historic restaurant in your area, go to SavingPlaces.org.
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