Monday, 15 July 2024

PG&E Foundation offers $5,000 grants to restaurants, commercial caterers

SANTA ROSA, Calif. — For the fourth consecutive year, The PG&E Corporation Foundation is providing grants to support independent restaurant owners and their staffs through the California Restaurant Foundation’s Restaurants Care Resilience Fund. And for the first time, commercial caterers are now eligible to apply for the grants.

The PG&E Foundation is contributing $900,000 this year to help build more resilient hometown businesses for the long term. The contribution will fund $5,000 grants to 154 restaurants and commercial caterers in Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s service area.

In total, the California Restaurant Foundation’s Restaurants Care Resilience Fund will provide grants across California of nearly $1.4 million to 278 independent restaurants this year.

The $5,000 grants can be used to support vital business needs, including technology and equipment upgrades, employee training and retention, and unforeseen hardships. The grants reflect a commitment to strengthen restaurants so that they can continue contributing to local economies and communities.

California Restaurant Foundation officials said that this year’s decision to open the grants to commercial caterers was based on appeals for support with catering companies noting that they too are a part of the local food scene.

Since 2021, PG&E and the PG&E Foundation have contributed $3.2 million in funding to the California Restaurant Foundation’s Restaurants Care Resilience Fund providing grants ranging from $3,000 to $5,000.

Last year, the PG&E Foundation funded $5,000 grants to 154 hometown restaurants in Northern and Central California. One of the grant recipients was La Cheve Bakery and Brews.

“Our restaurant is in a small historic building in Napa and is known for our bustling brunch. Kitchen space is tight, which has posed challenges in keeping up with guest orders,” said Cinthya Cisneros, owner of La Cheve Bakery and Brews. “We used our Resilience Fund grant to invest in a crucial addition to our kitchen equipment, which has significantly boosted our capacity and elevated guest service. Receiving the grant made us feel acknowledged and valued by our community.”

“We all have favorite gathering spots in our communities where we come to relax or celebrate a special occasion over a great meal — our local restaurants are where we connect with one another and where memories are made. We are proud to continue our partnership with the California Restaurant Foundation to help boost our local eating establishments and our local economies,” said Carla Peterman, executive vice president, corporate affairs, PG&E Corp., and chair of the board, the PG&E Corporation Foundation.

California Restaurant Foundation began the Resilience Fund in 2021 to support restaurants recovering from economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, which contributed to many restaurants closing their doors temporarily or permanently.

PG&E and The PG&E Corporation Foundation have supported the program since its inception.

“We are tremendously grateful to The PG&E Corporation Foundation for funding another cycle of grants. The Resilience Fund has helped more than 1,300 restaurant owners since 2021, with hundreds more to be added in this newest cycle,” said Alycia Harshfield, executive director of the California Restaurant Foundation. “We are thrilled to offer another round of grants to deserving independent restaurant owners, helping to fortify small businesses at the center of our communities.”

Resilience Fund applications will be open June 15 through June 30, 2024, and can be found at www.restaurantscare.org/resilience.

Grants are open to all California-based restaurant owners and commercial caterers in PG&E’s service area that have fewer than five locations and less than $3 million in annual revenue.

Priority will be given to restaurants that have not previously received a grant; however, former recipients can also apply.

To date, the CRF has awarded 1,325 grants to independent restaurant owners across the state. Of the past recipient businesses, 66% are women-owned and 77% minority-owned.

The PG&E Foundation’s funding for this charitable donation comes from PG&E shareholders, not PG&E customers.

Assisting restaurants and small and medium businesses

PG&E remains committed to providing ways for its small and medium business customers to save energy and money amid recent economic hardships including the pandemic and recent inflation.

Here are some ways PG&E is helping its customers:

On-Bill Financing: PG&E offers 0% interest loans for replacing old and worn-out equipment with more energy-efficient models. Watch this video to explore how energy savings are reinvested back into your business to help improve your bottom line.

Rebates for food service equipment: PG&E offers several rebate programs that will help you save money and improve productivity when you upgrade your food service equipment.

Budget billing: If you are a small business owner, you can have a predictable bill each month by enrolling in Budget Billing. The program averages out your monthly bill to determine your monthly payment, instead of having unpredictable summer bills.

Energy efficiency programs: PG&E contracts with external companies to provide a customize solution for different business sectors.

Find your best rate plan: Customers can use this online tool to run a rate analysis to see if they are on the best rate plan for their operations. The tool is projected to save customers over $9.5 million this year.

Economic development rate: This offers eligible business customers the opportunity to lower costs through one of three reduced electric rate options. PG&E developed this rate to help businesses grow or maintain jobs in California. The standard 12% rate is available throughout our service territory.

For more information on PG&E Small and Medium Business customer support, visit www.pge.com/smbsupport.

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