With so many restaurants being forced to close within the past year, the industry took a hit and Black-owned restaurants are now at an even larger disadvantage. “Eight out of 10 Black-owned businesses fail within the first 18 months,” according to NBC News, and now those numbers are even lower due to COVID-19.
HEINZ is now taking action to preserve these restaurants’ cultural legacy through a new grant program and multi-year partnership with nonprofit restaurant equality organization The LEE Initiative and Southern Restaurants for Racial Justice (SRRJ).
What is The LEE Initiative?
The LEE Initiative is an acronym for, “Let’s Empower Employment.” Co-founders, Lindsey Ofcacek and Chef Edward Lee, use creative and forward thinking strategies to identify and solve where there is a need for more diversity and more equality in the restaurant industry.
What is the Southern Restaurants for Racial Justice?
Bakers, chefs, makers, and restaurant owners joined together to do the work to benefit Black communities in the South, specifically Black-owned restaurants that are struggling due to the pandemic.
How is HEINZ supporting black-owned restaurants?
According to a PR representative, HEINZ is kicking off the partnership by giving 60 Black-owned restaurants nationwide grants of up to $20,000 each (through the SRRJ).
The grants are designed to help these restaurants prosper through financial support, help boost restaurants awareness and gain training opportunities through HEINZ.
HEINZ will work toward increasing the restaurants’ reach by spotlighting the owner’s story across all HEINZ social media channels. Kind of like a social takeover.
The condiments company will also assist Black-owned restaurants with training and resources in human resources, finance, marketing and more, according to the organization.
Do you know of any Black-owned restaurants that could benefit from this grant?
Then quickly send them this article! Now through May 8, restaurant owners nationwide can apply for the grant via the application website. Filling out the form may take about five minutes but it’s totally worth it to save the food and the culture!