The James Beard Foundation recognizes the dire situation the food and beverage community is in due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Restaurants, bars, and other independent food and beverage operations are strong economic drivers. $1 trillion generated by the culinary industry reflects 4% of our gross domestic product. The food and beverage community employs nearly 16% of the American workforce. These businesses support local economies, and according to some studies, restaurants pump as much as 60% of their money back into their local business communities. They pay taxes, support municipal utilities, bring life into underserved neighborhoods. Restaurants, bars, and other independent food and beverage operations are often on the frontlines of community revival and real-estate development. They are woven into the social and cultural fabric of our country.
The majority of the culinary businesses we work with and support each year are small- or medium-sized businesses with less than 500 employees who play an essential role in the communities they serve.
To help bring swift economic relief to these essential businesses, the Foundation is launching a fund that will be gathering support from corporate, foundation, and individual donors to provide micro-grants to independent food and beverage businesses in need*.
We know that immediate action is needed to ensure there is a vibrant culinary and beverage community still standing once we are on the other side of this pandemic.
We hope you’ll support—at any level you can—to help these important community institutions survive.
*If you are inquiring about criteria in the application process for the JBF Relief Fund, please add your information here. We are working on application materials at this time and will send out information when it is ready