4 N.J. merchants earn $10K awards as part of Uber’s $1M Grants for Growth program

Four New Jersey-based small businesses were among 100 nationwide to receive a $10,000 grant from Uber and Visa as part of their joint Grants for Growth program, the companies announced today.

The program provided $1 million in grant funding to small businesses in 10 U.S. cities/metro areas that are currently active on Uber Eats.

The New Jersey grantees:

  • Manny’s Deli (Newark);
  • Tropical Delight Jamaican Restaurant (Paterson);
  • Somos Tu Peru (Paterson);
  • Eagle Specialty Coffee (Eatontown).

The program, which had a focus on restaurant recovery and entrepreneurship, was created earlier this year as a way to support merchants when they need it most, particularly as they recover from the pandemic.

The grants can be used toward immediate needs, such as payroll, paying outstanding debt to vendors, upgrading payment technology infrastructure and other immediate operational costs. In addition to financial support, selected merchants received disaster recovery and resiliency guides from Uber and the Local Initiatives Support Corp..

This is the second time Uber has run Grants for Growth program — but the first in connection with Visa. The program was administered by the LISC.

Sarfraz Maredia, vice president of U.S. and Canada Delivery at Uber, said the program is part of the company’s effort to support its merchant partners.

“From labor challenges to supply chain issues, independently owned businesses have had another trying year, and it’s important to us that Uber Eats support our merchant partners with the resources and tools they need to continue to grow,” he said. “With our partners at Visa and LISC, we’re happy to have created a program that’s had such impact and has helped restaurants across the country fund critical investments.”

Restaurants active on Uber Eats in Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Miami, Detroit, the New York City metro/New Jersey area, the San Francisco Bay Area, Philadelphia and Boston were eligible to apply for the program. Grant recipients were independently selected by LISC, using criteria to give preference to veteran, minority, women and LGBTQIA+ business owners.

Among the recipients selected by LISC, 92% were entrepreneurs of color, 69% were female-owned businesses and 88% of the businesses were in low- or moderate-income areas.