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James Beard Foundation Offering $15,000 Grants to Black- and Indigenous-Owned Food and Beverage Businesses

  • James Beard Foundation accepting applications in program to distribute $15,000 grants to Black- and Indigenous-owned businesses in the food and beverage industry
  • Open to independently owned businesses with 50 or fewer employees
  • Funding will be distributed equally among six regions and three different business types

The James Beard Foundation, a not-for-profit organization promoting a “delicious, diverse, and sustainable” food culture, is taking applications for a grant program aimed at supporting Black and Indigenous Americans in the food and beverage industry.

Qualifying business owners have until 2:59 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 22, to submit applications. Those selected will receive a one-time charitable grant of $15,000.

Business owners are eligible for the grants if they are independently owned, with at least 51 percent equity held by Black or Indigenous owners. Their business must have had 50 or fewer employees on Feb. 15, 2020; restaurant groups are eligible if they had 50 or fewer employees per location.

The James Beard Foundation has divided the United States into six regions, each containing 16 to 17 percent of the nation’s Black and Indigenous population, and funding will be equally distributed between these regions. Connecticut is part of a 12-state region extending from New England to West Virginia.

Grants will also be split evenly across three categories of food and beverage businesses. These include those without a physical location, such as food trucks and food or beverage consultants; brick and mortar businesses without seated table-side service, such as cafes or bakeries; and brick and mortar businesses with seated table-side service, like full-service restaurants and brewpubs.

The James Beard Foundation Food and Beverage Investment Fund for Black and Indigenous Americans has debuted as part of the organization’s Open For Good initiative, which was launched in April to assist independent restaurants during the COVID-19 pandemic. The fund intends to provide not only financial support, but also guidance in areas such as marketing, business planning, and negotiating contracts.

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