January 5, 2021 – Restaurant Recovery Fund

Today, Empire State Development (ESD) announced the more than $3 million “Raising the Bar” Restaurant Recovery Fund to assist restaurants in New York State during the COVID-19 pandemic. This grant funding has been made possible through financial donations led by Diageo North America and supported by Coastal Pacific Wine & Spirits (a division of Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits) and will be implemented by the non-profit National Development Council (NDC). The “Raising the Bar Restaurant Recovery Fund” will help eligible restaurants adjust their operations to the impacts of COVID-19 and adherence to New York State’s public health and safety measures during the winter months when outdoor dining is limited.

Grant funding can be used for COVID-19-related improvements and equipment that will allow the business to comply with social distancing guidelines, expand take-out/delivery operations, or accommodate outdoor dining such as plexiglass barriers/partitions, signage promoting social distancing and hygiene protocols, heaters, heat lamps, weatherization upgrades and insulated delivery bags;  improvements that will allow the business to continue operating through the winter months such as filtration system upgrades and food heaters to maintain temperature for to-go orders and purchasing PPE and sanitation supplies necessitated by the pandemic; and COVID-19 related business improvements like patio heaters or contactless technology.  Qualifying purchases and expenditures must be from September 1, 2020 onwards to be eligible. Initial round of grants are up to $5,000. 

Eligible businesses consist of New York State restaurants that have no more than $3 million in 2019​ revenue ​and are engaged in providing food services and meals prepared on-premises to patrons who traditionally order and are served while seated, including certain on-premises food and drinking establishments licensed through the State Liquor Authority (SLA) and which need funding to adjust to COVID-related impacts and protocols. Establishments providing take out or grab and go food services due to COVID-19 restrictions are also eligible to receive the grant from NDC. Additionally, these establishments must have been in operation on or before March 1, 2019 and certify and demonstrate that they have experienced financial hardship due to COVID-19. ​All businesses must continue to comply with the New York Forward reopening guidance and Cluster Action Initiative guidance, as applicable. 

Restaurants can apply to the “R​aising the Bar Restaurant Recovery Fund” starting Monday, January 11, 2021. For more information visit the ESD website at https://esd.ny.gov/raising-bar-restaurant-recovery-fund