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Stories of Impact





•  Grants for small restaurants throughout New York State
•  Made possible through financial support from Diageo North America and
Coastal Pacific Wine & Spirits
•  Implemented by the National Development Council (NDC)

NDC has been a source of capital for underserved small businesses throughout the nation for more than 50 years.  We know the vital economic, social and cultural role that restaurants play in the life of a community.  Cafes, diners, bars, taverns, restaurants of all kinds provide jobs, meeting places, and nourishment for body and soul.  They preserve local traditions and culture through food, and through food they bring the diversity of the globe to Main Street. They are irreplaceable in our civic fabric.

New York State recognizes that unique role and has created the grant program to help these vital community establishments adapt to COVID-19 restrictions during the coming winter months.

The state also recognizes NDC’s five decades of helping small businesses thrive and grow with critical financing and hands-on support.  We are proud to be its Raise the NYS Bar Restaurant Recovery Fund implementer.

Maximum $5,000 grant
Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (M/WBEs) are encouraged to apply.


To qualify for the program, an establishment must:

•  Be Full Service Restaurants (NAICS code 722511), or establishments engaged
in providing food services and meals prepared on-premises to patrons who
typically order and are served while seated (i.e., wait-staff service), including
on-premises food and drinking establishments licensed through the State
Liquor Authority (SLA).  Establishments that have had to convert because of
COVID restrictions to providing takeout or grab- and go food services are also
•  Have no more than $3 million in annual revenue;
•  Be located in New York State;
•  Have been in operation on or before March 1, 2019;
•  Certify and demonstrate that they have experienced financial hardship due to COVID-19

Allowable Uses of Grant Funds

•  Improvements/equipment that will allow the business to comply with social
distancing guidelines and/or expand take-out/delivery operations  (for
example, but not limited to: plexiglass barriers/partitions, signage promoting
social distancing/hygiene protocols, heaters, heat lamps, weatherization
upgrades, insulated delivery bags).
•  Improvements that will allow the business to continue operating through the
winter months (e.g., filtration system upgrades, food heaters to maintain
_ temperature for to-go orders, etc).
•  Purchase of PPE and sanitation supplies.
•  Lease or purchase of kitchen equipment or delivery vehicles.
•  Necessary training for personnel for practicing and/or enforcing appropriate
health and safety measures, and extraordinary sanitation expenses related to
Covid-19 protocols and requirements
•  COVID-19 related business improvements like patio heaters or contactless
_ technology.

Other Program Features:

•  Purchases and expenditures must be from September 1, 2020 onwards to be
•  Grants are supplied on a reimbursements basis.

How to Apply

•  Restaurants can apply to the Raising the Bar Restaurant Recovery Fund
starting Monday, January 11, 2021.
•  The link for the online application is  posted to the ESD website as well as at
the Diageo, Southern Glazer and NDC webpages.
•  The online grant portal may close temporarily if the number of applications
exceed funding availability. If grant funding remains available due to the
_ exclusion of ineligible applications, the online grant portal will be re-opened
_ following an announcement by Empire State Development.
•  Any program announcements and/or updates will be posted to ESD Website.

Download One-Page Program Information