Restaurants in Tulare, Visalia receive grants from SoCalGas

Two Tulare County restaurants receives $3,000 in SoCalGas grant funding to help with necessities following the pandemic

LOS ANGELES, Calif. – After the pandemic left many struggling, SoCalGas continues to help provide relief to small businesses up and down the state through the Restaurants Care Resilience Fund in the form of $3,000 grants.

For the second year, SoCalGas has donated a total of $525,000 to 162 independently owned restaurants to support recovery and drive positive change in diverse and underserved communities across Central and Southern California. In Tulare county, Mariscos El Camarón Borracho in Tulare and La Fiesta Burgers in Visalia were recipients of this grant. The $3,000 can be used for a variety of things like equipment upgrades or employee retention programs.

“My wife, me and my son are working together to make good food for our customers,” Genario Martines, owner of La Fiesta Burger, said. “COVID is hard, but right now it is a better time for everybody.” Martines is excited to receive this grant because it will be a big help if they need to purchase a new appliance, especially considering the price of everything including food has increased so dramatically. 

In order to qualify for this grant, the restaurant must have no more than three independent locations and not exceed $3 million in revenue. Recipients of this grant will not only receive a few thousand dollars, they will also receive year-long support services from Wells Fargo. These services will provide restaurant owners the resources necessary to enhance and streamline their business.

“Independent and locally owned restaurants are the backbone of so many communities – they welcome and accommodate our first dates, post-game celebrations and the many times we just don’t feel like cooking,” Alycia Harshfield, Executive Director of California Restaurant Foundation said. “They add vibrancy and uniqueness to every city, which is why the Resilience Fund is so important.”

The grants were awarded through a partnership with the California Restaurant Foundation’s (CRF) $1.5 million Restaurants Care Resilience Fund which is funded by SoCalGas, Pacific Gas and Electric, San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E), and Wells Fargo. Harshfield said she is grateful to those who help fund this initiative for recognizing how critical it is to support and invest in smaller local restaurants that have worked tirelessly to keep their doors open to the community for the past few years.

There are several other small businesses in California who are incredibly grateful for the opportunity. “As a restaurant owner, the last two years have been uncontrollable and carried deep financial hurt,” Barbara Sky Burrell, Owner of Sky’s Gourmet Tacos in Los Angeles said. “We were overwhelmed with excitement and emotion when we heard we were grant recipients. We are able to hang on and stay afloat with the help of donations like the one we received through the Restaurants Care Resilience Fund. We are forever grateful for this grant.”

There were a total of 356 grant recipients. This year 72% of grant winners are female-owned restaurants and 83% identify as people of color owners. The average business ownership is 9.7 years with nearly 80 of those restaurants having operated for more than two decades.  To see the full list of grant recipients in your area, please visit www.restaurantscare.org/resilience.

For more information about the California Restaurant Foundation, Restaurants Care, or the Resilience Fund, please visit www.restaurantscare.org.

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