Building back the buzz!by Rob Sysak, March 14, 2022
GRANTS AVAILABLE FOR 5 WQW RESTAURANTS
$18,500 per restaurant to assist in pandemic recovery
West Queen West has been selected by the the International Downtown Association Foundation to be one of five BIAs around the world participating in the Backing International Small Restaurants program, supported by American Express, to help restaurants recover from the turmoil of the past two years.
With support from American Express, the IDA Foundation will award 5 grants of $18,500 each to WQW restaurants for critical business needs or projects and initiatives as the region emerges from the effects of the pandemic.
The IDA Foundation is administering the program with the intent of supporting culturally significant, independent restaurants owned by individuals from underrepresented groups. The grants are focused on, but not exclusive to, restaurants owned by: BIPOC, women, LGBTQIA+, people with disabilities.
An important consideration will be the ways in which the business contributes to the community and unique personality of West Queen West.
Applicants will need to submit the name, address, contact and other basic information about your business, but before you complete the form you should be prepared to also answer the questions on the following page. These are the qualities that the selection committee will be looking for.
Please contact me if you would like any clarification or assistance:
Rob Sysak, Executive Director, West Queen West BIA, email@example.com
- Currently operating in the West Queen West Business Improvement Area
- Restaurant, pub, bar, cafe or venues with food service
- Independently owned – not part of a franchise with more than 5 locations
- Gross revenue less than $1M for calendar year 2021
- Briefly describe your restaurant’s concept.
- Tell the selection committee ways in which you engage with the community and contribute to the unique personality of the West Queen West business improvement area and neighbourhood.
- Describe how this grant will enable you to recover more quickly from the negative impacts of COVID and the financial struggles you have encountered.
- Provide information on how you plan to use the grant. Use of the funds is fairly flexible as long as it meets a critical business need that supports the restaurant in recovery from the effects of the pandemic.
- Potential uses could include purchasing new equipment, physical improvements, building outdoor dining spaces, staff training or enhancing digital capabilities. Purchasing food/drink stock is not a qualifying grant use.
- Additional budget details will be requested if the restaurant is a finalist.
Preference will be given to restaurants using the following guidelines:
- History of community and neighbourhood engagement and contribution
- Clear use of funds and its impact on the restaurant
- Owned and/or operated by underrepresented members of the community
- Acceptance of American Express is not required, but may be considered as a positive grant selection criteria
Your application and details must be submitted by 11:59 PM ET, Friday, April 1, 2022