Uber and Visa are teaming up to launch Grants for Growth, a program offering $1 million in funding and resources to small businesses in 10 U.S. cities that are currently active on Uber Eats.
The scheme is being administered by the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) and will focus on restaurant recovery and entrepreneurship. It was developed to offer support to merchants when it is most needed, according to a press release on Monday (Jan. 10).
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“We know that this year has been trying for many and that independently-owned businesses continue to face significant business challenges. From natural disasters to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Uber and Visa are committed to supporting SMBs, especially through unexpected events, when they may need us most,” said Sarfraz Maredia, VP of U.S. and Canada delivery at Uber.
LISC will independently choose who the grant recipients will be, based on criteria provided by Uber and Visa. Preference will be given to veterans, minorities, women, and LGBTQIA+ business owners. Restaurants can apply as long as they have been active on Uber Eats since Jan. 1, 2022 and are based in Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington DC, Miami, Detroit, the NYC metro/New Jersey area, the San Francisco Bay Area, Philadelphia, and Boston.
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“Independent restaurants are a vital and vibrant part of their communities, and the pandemic continues to impact far too many of them,” said Mary Ann Reilly, SVP and head of North America marketing at Visa.
Grants for Growth is offering 100 merchants grants of $10,000, which can be used toward payroll, vendor debt, payment technology upgrades, and other immediate operational costs. Some grant recipients will also receive placement in the Uber Eats app and disaster recovery and resiliency guides from Uber and LISC.