As temperatures drop and the days get shorter, in the wake of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, restaurants are facing an existential crisis. In a recent survey, 60 percent of New York restaurants said they will not make it till the end of the year without some sort of financial relief. Almost 90 percent were unable to pay full rent in August, with 34 percent of them unable to pay any rent at all. This was during the warm summer months The success or failure of outdoor dining during the winter months will determine the future of the industry.
In response, DoorDash is providing $5,000 grants to small businesses selected through an application process in select cities across the US. The grants are part of DoorDash’s Main Street Strong initiative to help restaurants recover and succeed amidst COVID-19 related challenges. The $5,000 in grants will also help offset the costs for outdoor heating.
In New York City restaurants can choose from three different heating options:
- Electric radiant heaters will be allowed in sidewalk and roadway seating setups.
- Natural gas radiant heaters will be allowed on the sidewalk only.
- Natural gas radiant heaters must also comply with the Fire Code.
- Portable heaters fueled by propane will be allowed on the sidewalk only. Propane heating will be regulated by the Fire Department, with requirements for safe handling, use, and storage.
- Must have 3 stores or fewer currently operating
- Must have $3M or less in 2019 annual revenue per store
- Must employ 50 people or fewer per store
- Must be located in:
- New York, NY
- Chicago, IL
- Denver, CO
- Philadelphia, PA
- San Francisco, CA
- San Jose, CA
Grant applications will be open until November 6th. Grant winners will be selected via a panel and will be notified by the end of December. DoorDash will provide applicants with updates on the selection timeline
Full details for DoorDash’s Local Restaurant Grants Program can be found here.