Uber Eats partners with LISC NYC to give thousands of dollars in grants to New York minority-owned restaurants

Photo courtesy of Uber

Several New York City eateries will receive grants to help with their businesses.

Uber Eats has partnered with the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC NYC) to provide $385,000 in grants to 77 minority-owned restaurants in New York. Six restaurants in Upstate New York will receive an additional $30,000 in grants.

Each restaurant that receives a grant, which totals up to $5,000, can use it at their discretion, such as covering expenses like rent, kitchen supplies, pay and more. The donations are a part of Uber’s $4.5 million commitment to providing pandemic relief and recovery.

“We’re proud to partner with Uber Eats to support minority-owned restaurants across the five boroughs who have been financially devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Valerie White, Executive Director of LISC NYC. “Many of these businesses faced countless challenges long before the pandemic began, which is what makes partnerships like this one such an important lifeline for restaurants trying to rehire employees, pay rent, and welcome customers back after more than a year of unprecedented uncertainty.”

“Throughout the year, New Yorkers have shown up in a big way for their favorite small restaurants, and we’re humbled to play a small role in the effort to eat local,” said Hayley Prim, Public Affairs Manager for Uber in New York. “We know that we can only succeed when restaurants succeed, and we continue to look for ways to partner with local businesses to help them keep the doors open and the customers coming back.”

Recipients in New York City are all minority-owned businesses, with 43% owned by women of color. Many of the businesses selected were hit hard by the pandemic and Uber Eats specifically focused on providing relief to small-to-medium-sized restaurants with fewer than five locations.

“Last year was tough for so many small businesses, and we’re grateful that thanks to support like this, government aid and delivery services we’ve been able to keep our doors open and our employees on staff,” said Derick Lopez, Owner of The Freakin Rican Restaurant in Astoria. “Above all, it was our loyal customers that kept us going, and we’re excited to continue to serve them as the city reopens.”

“This past year brought many challenges to our restaurant, but also provided some unique opportunities—like our staff becoming closer, and becoming even more rooted in our community in Harlem, Upper Manhattan, and the Bronx,” said Donna Lewis, Owner of Home Sweet Harlem. “Being able to count on delivery as a consistent source of revenue was important to us, especially in the spring of 2020, and this grant money allowed us to pay off a portion of our rent. We look forward to setting up outdoor dining, and serving more customers as the city reopens.” 

In addition to grants, Uber launched an “Eat Local” campaign to support local restaurants, which included policies around entirely free products — specifically Pickup on Uber Eats, Daily Payouts to Merchants, and Online Ordering — to ease financial concerns through the summer. The campaign began over Super Bowl weekend with demand generation campaigns.

“Restaurants in New York City need all the help and support we can get right now, and I appreciate Uber’s commitment to small businesses like mine,” said Julian Forbes, Owner of Mya’s Kitchen and Bakery in the Bronx. “There’s still more work to do, but as the city reopens we’re excited to welcome diners back to our restaurant and look forward to what 2021 has in store.”