Application Criteria

Application Criteria for the JBF Food and Beverage Investment Fund for Black and Indigenous Americans

To qualify for funding, a food or beverage business must be (i) independently owned with 50 or fewer full- or part-time employees as of February 15, 2020, or (ii) a restaurant group in which each member restaurant had 50 or fewer full-or part-time employees on that date, and (iii) at least 51% owned by Black and/or Indigenous American(s). We define independently owned as food businesses that maintain full control of their business or group of businesses and do not have an affiliation with a parent company with different owners and/or operators; therefore, franchises are not eligible for this funding.

We will announce an application window once we have raised sufficient funding to cover a round of grants. The Foundation will announce the application window and publish the application in advance and will disseminate this information across all of its owned-channels. Unless otherwise restricted by donors, all donations received by the Fund will be divided evenly across the six regions outlined below. The Fund will award an equal number of recipients in each region according to three categories of business types outlined below. Donors who wish to make restricted contributions may restrict their gift to one or more of the six regions but cannot earmark specific states or types of food and beverage businesses for their contribution. 

Once we close an application window, we will continue to process applications received for each category within a region, as defined below, until we run out of funds in that region. Regions are defined as:

  • Region 1: CT, DE, MA, MD, ME, NH, NJ, NY, RI, VT, Washington, D.C., WV
  • Region 2: IA, IL, IN, KY, MI, OH, PA
  • Region 3: AL, AR, FL, MO, MS, OK 
  • Region 4: GA, NC, TN, SC
  • Region 5: AZ, CO, KS, LA, NM, NV, Puerto Rico, TX, UT
  • Region 6: AK, CA, HI, ID, MI, MN, MT, ND, NE, OR, SD, WA, WI, WY

Completed applications in each of the categories listed below within each region will be reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis. Each applicant (whether an independent restaurant or one location from within a restaurant group) approved by the Fund shall receive a one-time payment of $15,000. We recommend that grantees check with their tax professional, but the funding is designed to be a non-taxable charitable grant to those with critical financial need. Applications received for a specific round of funding will only be eligible for that round of funding and applicants will need to apply again for future rounds of funding. Applicants who receive a grant in any round of funding will not be eligible for future rounds of funding.

The Fund will make an equal number of grants across three categories of types of food and beverage businesses. Categories are defined as:

Category 1: 

  • Food and beverage businesses without a standalone brick-and-mortar footprint (food trucks, food stalls, supper clubs, food and beverage consultants)

Category 2: 

  • Brick-and-mortar food and beverage businesses without seated table-side service (fast casual restaurant, counter service restaurant or cafe, bakeries, distillery, etc.)

Category 3:

  • Brick-and-mortar food and beverage businesses with seated table-side service (full-service restaurant, brewpub, or speakeasy with full menu)

The Fund retains the right to make final funding decisions, in its sole discretion, consistent with the applicable criteria, which the Fund may amend as needed to ensure smooth operations. In addition, the Fund, in making these charitable grants, wants to promote a safe, fair, and respectful workplace. Any restaurant that does not provide a workplace consistent with these values will be disqualified from receiving a grant from the Fund. The Fund retains the right to reclassify an applicant to the appropriate category as needed.

The JBF Food and Beverage Investment Fund for Black and Indigenous Americans is administered by New Venture Fund on behalf of the James Beard Foundation.

We recommend that applicants have the following information and documentation prepared for when an application window opens:

Contact information
Business Owner’s Tax Identification Number or Social Security Number

Payment Information
Payments will be made by wire transfer if a bank account is used for banking for the business that is applying for funding. If a bank account is not used, the Fund will work with grantees to determine the best way to deliver grant funds. If a bank account exists, we will ask you to please provide the account name for the bank account you use for your business. If confirmed to receive a grant, the Fund will be in touch to secure the full banking details for a wire transfer, or to determine the best delivery method for grant funds.

Proof of Ownership
The Fund must avoid fraud and confirm that distributions are being made to the owner of a qualified small, independent food or beverage business. To aid in confirming the legitimacy of the business that is applying, we will ask you to choose option 1 or option 2 below and submit all of the requested documentation outlined.  

Option 1:

  • Provide at least two proof of ownership documents. At least one of the documents must confirm at least 51% ownership by the Black or Indigenous American requesting a grant. Acceptable proof is a copy of a business license, ownership agreement, health certificate, liquor license, or other official government document showing the name of the qualified restaurant and the name of the restaurant owner. 
  • Provide the account name for the bank account you use for your business. The name of the bank account holder to which funds are transferred must match either the restaurant’s or owner’s name shown on the proof provided.

Option 2:

  • Provide at least two letters of recommendation which outline the role of your business in your community and the service you provide
  • Provide at least two of the below:
    • Copy or photo of your menu
    • Photo of your place of business
    • At least two receipts for goods used to run your business (food, paper goods, etc.). Receipts must be from within the last 2 months.

COVID-19 Financial Impact Data

  • Please be prepared to provide the amount of your total gross revenue for the 3-month period last year of April—June 2019. 
  • Please be prepared to provide an estimate of your total gross revenue for the 3-month period this year of April—June 2020. 
  • Please be prepared to provide the amount of your total operating costs for the 3-month period last year of April—June 2019. 
  • Please be prepared to provide an estimate of your total operating costs for the 3-month period this year of April—June 2020. 

Impact Statement (Optional)
You will be asked to upload a video file or document with your responses to the following questions. Word documents should be no longer than 1,000 words in total. Video files should be no longer than 5 minutes in total. Please note we have provided the option to submit either video or essay in order to support your preferred method of storytelling. Your submission is only for additional context and is not being weighed as official criteria for eligibility for a grant given the first come, first-served structure of the Fund.

  • Tell us about your business, and how it came to be.
  • How has COVID-19 impacted your business? 
  • How would receiving this grant impact you, your business, and your community? 

Eligibility Requirements
Please be prepared to tell us how many full- or part-time employees your restaurant or each restaurant in your restaurant group employed as of February 15, 2020. To qualify as a “small restaurant,” your restaurant or each restaurant in your restaurant group must have employed no more than 50 full- or part-time employees on that date.

Learn more about the JBF Food and Beverage Investment Fund for Black and Indigenous Americans.
Learn more about Open for Good, and how you can support these initiatives.