NJRHA, DoorDash to partner on $500K grant program for N.J. restaurants

New Jersey restaurants can apply for grants between $2,500-$5,000, thanks to a grant program funded by DoorDash and administered by the New Jersey Restaurant & Hospitality Association.

DoorDash announced Monday it is donating $500,000 to the NJRHA to award grants to restaurants to help them offset costs amidst cold weather and ongoing COVID-related challenges. Restaurants can use the funding to pay rent, purchase cold-weather equipment, personal protective equipment and other items.

The grant is part of DoorDash’s five-year, $200 million Main Street Strong Pledge, which includes a $10 million grant program for restaurants in cities and states around the country.

The grant application will be available on the NJRHA website, www.njrha.org, by Feb. 1. The grants will be awarded to independent restaurants that have five or fewer locations and can show a loss of at least 30% from 2019. The criteria are outlined on the application on the NJRHA website. Applicants do not have to be a DoorDash customer or NJRHA member.

NJRHA CEO Marilou Halvorsen said she is grateful for the partnership.

“We are thankful to have partners like DoorDash who recognize the dire situation our hospitality industry is in,” she said. “New Jersey’s hospitality industry is one of the hardest-hit in the country. Having grants like this available for our independent restaurant community will assist in being able to sustain their operations.”

The situation in New Jersey is dire, according to a recent Economic Impact Report by DoorDash:

  • Nearly two-thirds of restaurants say they were able to increase their profits during COVID-19 because of DoorDash;
  • 75% of restaurants agree that DoorDash has allowed them to reach new customers;
  • 69% of restaurants say they have acquired new dine-in customers through DoorDash.

Additionally, the odds of staying open during COVID-19 are six times more likely for restaurants on DoorDash.

David London, the director of government relations, U.S. East, for DoorDash, said the company is eager to help.

“DoorDash was founded to empower local economies, and we know New Jersey’s restaurants are core to so many communities throughout the state,” he said. “We’re proud to fund these grants, and partner with the New Jersey Restaurant & Hospitality Association to ensure we can support restaurants who need it most. We know these are challenging times for restaurant owners, and we’re committed to doing our part to help.”

Gov. Phil Murphy said the grants will make a huge difference.

“Supporting New Jersey small businesses has always been a priority, but it has taken on new urgency in the COVID-19 environment,” he said. “Programs like this help greatly in those efforts and I commend DoorDash and the NJRHA for stepping up to provide this much-needed support for New Jersey restaurants.”