DoorDash, Hello Alice Introduce Restaurant Disaster Relief Fund

Over the past year, independent restaurants have not only had to endure the effects of the pandemic but some have also experienced losses due to natural disasters. From wildfires in California to flooding in Louisiana, several small businesses have continued to be challenged by Mother Nature. In response, DoorDash and Hello Alice have introduced the Restaurant Disaster Relief Fund.

According to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) data, 40% of small businesses that experience natural disasters are unable to reopen. To assist such businesses, this new fund will offer $1 million to local restaurants. Each grant will be for $10,000, allowing small restaurant owners to pay rent, utilities, buy supplies, meet payroll, or cover other expenses.

Applications for the Restaurant Disaster Relief Fund will open on November 1st and will be processed every three months. In order to be eligible for a grant under this program, applicants must have experienced hardship due to a natural disaster that was state or federally declared. Additionally, restaurants must operate a brick-and-mortar location in the United States, have no more than three stores, and employ 50 people or fewer. Businesses must have been open for at least six months but brought in less than $3 million per location during the last year (12 months). Finally, and notably, it is not required that applying restaurants be a DoorDash or Caviar partner.

Announcing the program, DoorDash Social Impact Program Lead Tasia Hawkins stated, “Restaurants are at the heart of Main Street and they have exhibited immense resiliency when disaster strikes, providing for their communities even when their resources on hand are limited. The Restaurant Disaster Relief Fund is one way we are aiming to reduce the financial burden imposed on restaurants following a natural disaster, helping keep restaurant doors open for years to come.”

Meanwhile, VP for State Affairs and Grassroots Advocacy at the National Restaurant Association Mike Whatley said of the effort, “These grants will help small business restaurants recover while the operators focus on what they do best, offering essential nourishment and comfort to their neighbors. Restaurants are the cornerstones of their communities, and we appreciate the commitment DoorDash and Hello Alice are making to the recovery of our operators and employees following a disaster.”

This isn’t the first time that DoorDash has announced programs meant to help independent restaurant owners through tough times. Earlier this year, in partnership with nonprofit small business lender Accion Opportunity Fund, the platform introduced the Main Street Strong Accelerator. The program — which sought participants from New York City, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Atlanta — included $2 million in grants as well as virtual programming to help business owners adapt to the changing landscape.

Although delivery services such as DoorDash have been controversial among some small business owners, it’s great to see DoorDash once again stepping up to assist independent restaurants in need. On that note, while the initial $1 million is a nice start, hopefully other partners can help grow that sum in the future. In any case, restaurants that wish to apply can visit the Restaurant Disaster Relief Fund site and apply starting November 1st.

Author

Jonathan Dyer

I'm a small town guy living in Los Angeles looking to make solid financial decisions. I write for a number of finance websites, including HuffingtonPost and Business2Community. I founded DyerNews.com in 2015 to focus on personal finance and the emerging FinTech markets.

Other Articles by Jonathan Dyer

FinTech Funding Grows 169% in 2021 to Reach New Record

Anyone paying attention to the FinTech field throughout 2021 could probably guess that it was a record-breaking year. Sure enough, new figures from CB Insights confirm that to be the case. According to the latest State Of Venture report, FinTechs raised a combined total of $131.5 billion in 2021. That marks a 169% increase over 2020's $49 billion total. The year was capped by a $34.9 billion Q4 that ranks...

Neobank Current Introduces 4% APY Feature for Savings

In recent years, savings account holders have likely seen the interest they earn from their funds fall tremendously. This decline has even been true among many FinTechs that have typically offered better rates than the big banks. However, one neobank is now rolling out a new feature that will allow customers to earn interest that's 60 times higher than the national average. This week, Current announced that customers will be...

FinTech Prosper Introduces Credit-Building Card

For years, FinTechs have been disrupting the credit industry. From websites like Credit Karma making it easier for consumers to understand their credit reports to various platforms looking beyond credit scores and utilizing alternative algorithms to determine creditworthiness, there are now several credit-building opportunities available to Americans that weren't there previously. Now, the marketplace lending platform Prosper has announced the launch of a new and interesting credit card product. The...