Application Criteria

The application period for the James Beard Foundation Food and Beverage Investment Fund for Black and Indigenous Americans will be open on Monday, Monday, March 15, 2021 from 12 P.M. ET to 6:00 P.M. ET. 

Apply for the Fund here

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.

The application period for the second round of the James Beard Foundation Food and Beverage Investment Fund for Black and Indigenous Americans will be open on Monday, Monday, March 15, 2021 from 12 P.M. ET to 6:00 P.M. ET. 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, VA
  • 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.

Application Preview

SECTION 1 This section is mandatory.

1. Contact Information 

  • First name: 
  • Middle Initial: 
  • Last name: 
  • Address: 
  • City: 
  • State: 
  • Zip Code: 
  • Email: 
  • Phone: 
  • Owner’s TIN or Social Security Number: 

2. Tradename of restaurant/restaurant group and location information 

  Tradename Mailing Address City State Zip Code
Location #1          
Location #2          
Location #3          

3. Social Media 

  • Business Website [optional]: 
  • Business Instagram Handle [optional] 
  • Business Twitter Handle [optional] 
  • Business TikTok Handle [optional] 

4. To aid in confirming the legitimacy of the business that is applying, please choose option 1 or option 2 below and submit all of the requested documentation outlined. You will be prompted to provide documentation in SECTION 2 of this application. 

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 first page of the bank account statement for the account you use for your business; this should include the account number as well as match the name of the bank account holder to which funds would be transferred in the case of a grant. 

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 
    • Receipt for goods used to run your business (food, paper goods, etc) 

 

___I choose Option 1: I have at least two proof of ownership documents ready and the first page of my bank account statement ready.  
 

___I choose Option 2: I will provide the emails of two recommenders and two additional pieces of business documentation (menu, photo of business, receipt of goods).  

5. Number of years your business has been in operation:  

  • Less than 1 year  
  • 1-2 years  
  • 3-5 years  
  • 5-10 years  
  • 10 years+  

6. What was your total gross revenue for the 3-month period last year of April—June 2019?  

  • Under $50,000  
  • $50,0001–$100,000  
  • $100,001–$250,000  
  • $250,001–$500,000  
  • $500,001–$750,000  
  • $750,001–$1,000,000  
  • $1,000,001–$2,500,000  
  • $2,500,001–$5,000,000  
  • $5,000,000+  

7. What was your total gross revenue for the 3-month period this year of April-June 2020?  

  • Under $50,000  
  • $50,0001-$100,000  
  • $100,001-$250,000  
  • $250,001-$500,000  
  • $500,001-$750,000  
  • $750,001-$1,000,000  
  • $1,000,001-$2,500,000  
  • $2,500,001-$5,000,000  
  • $5,000,000+  

8. What were your operating costs for the 3-month period last year of April-June 2019?  

  • Under $50,000  
  • $50,0001-$100,000  
  • $100,001-$250,000  
  • $250,001-$500,000  
  • $500,001-$750,000  
  • $750,001-$1,000,000  
  • $1,000,001-$2,500,000  
  • $2,500,001-$5,000,000  
  • $5,000,000+  

9. What were your operating costs for the 3-month period this year of April-June 2020?  

  • Under $50,000  
  • $50,0001-$100,000  
  • $100,001-$250,000  
  • $250,001-$500,000  
  • $500,001-$750,000  
  • $750,001-$1,000,000  
  • $1,000,001-$2,500,000  
  • $2,500,001-$5,000,000  
  • $5,000,000+  

10. Is your business closed as a result of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), either due to operational challenges (limited availability of food and supplies, staffing shortages, lack of customers, concern for public safety, etc.) or as a result of a federal, state, or local order?  

  • Yes  
  • No  

11. Is your restaurant open on a reduced basis (e.g., full-service restaurant now doing take-out or delivery only or with limited outdoor seating) as a result of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), either on a voluntary basis or as a result of a federal, state, or local order?  

  • Yes  
  • No  
  • Clear  

12. Have you received a PPP loan, EIDL loan, or any other form of federal, state, or local aid this year? Please note that having received such a loan will not impact your eligibility for a grant from JBF.  

  • Yes  
  • No  

13. Select your region (based on the location of the restaurant or restaurant group):  
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, VA  
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  

14. The Fund will make an equal number of grants across three categories of types of food and beverage businesses. Which category are you applying to?  

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)  

15. Transgender is an umbrella term that refers to people whose gender identity, expression, or behavior is different from those typically associated with their assigned sex at birth. Other identities considered to fall under this umbrella can include non-binary, gender fluid, and genderqueer-as well as many more. Does the primary owner identify as transgender?  

  • Yes  
  • No  
  • Prefer not to say  

16. What gender does the owner identify as?  

  • Female  
  • Male  
  • Non-binary/third gender  
  • Prefer not to say  
  • Prefer to self-describe ____________ 

17. Does the majority owner identify as Black or African-American, American Indian or Alaskan Native, or Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander?  

  • Select all that apply. 
  • Black or African-American  
  • American Indian or Alaskan Native  
  • Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander  

18. Please list your tribal affiliation: _______________ 

You are being asked for tribal affiliation because you selected "American Indian or Alaskan Native" and/or "Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander" as an answer for question 17. 

19. As part of our Open for Good campaign, the James Beard Foundation offers a number of resources for independent restaurants and culinary businesses navigating the COVID-19 pandemic. Please select one or more of the following options that you would find most helpful for your business: (multiple choice with option to select more than one or rank)  

  • Industry Playbooks: digital resources that provide information such as safety protocols and best practices to minimize the spread of COVID-19  
  • Industry Support Webinars: virtual events focusing on topical issues within the culinary industry  
  • Advocacy and Training: programs that educate, train, and mobilize the chef community to use their voice in support of public policies  
  • Financial Aid  
  • All of the above  

20. Are there other resources or services not listed above that you would find most helpful for your business as it adapts to these challenging times? 

21. By completing this application, the applicant agrees to communication from The James Beard Foundation regarding future programs and food industry news.  
 

____ I understand  

SECTION 2 This section is mandatory.

You will be prompted to answer either Option 1 or Option 2 based on your answer to question #4. 

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 first page of the bank account statement for the account you use for your business; this should include the account number as well as match the name of the bank account holder to which funds would be transferred in the case of a grant.

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 
    • Receipt for goods used to run your business (food, paper goods, etc)
SECTION 3 This section is mandatory if you selected Option 2 as an answer to question #14.

You will only see this section if you selected Option 2 as an answer to question #14. 

Request Letters of Recommendation 

  • Applicant instruction: Please provide the name of at least two recommenders that can outline the role of your business in your community and the service you provide. All recommendations must be submitted by March 17, 2021 12PM EST for applications to be considered complete. 
  • Recommender instructions: Please upload or write in your letter of recommendation. All recommendations must be submitted by March 17, 2021 12PM EST for applications to be considered complete.
SECTION 4 This section is optional.

Tell us more about your business 
Please 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? 

MAX LENGTH OF ESSAY: 1000 words 
MAX LENGTH OF Video: 5 minutes

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.