The restaurant industry has taken a beating thanks to COVID — and now, DoorDash wants to do its part to reverse that course.
In a press release announcement, it was revealed that the popular meal delivery service released its new Main Street Strong Accelerator program in close partnership with nonprofit small business lender and support organization, Action Opportunity Fund.
This program, which is an initiative providing financial support and specialized educational resources, has a $2 million war chest that will focus on minority- and women-owned businesses in the restaurant industry.
“The social and financial inequities that many businesses experienced before the pandemic have only been amplified by the current global pandemic and economic crisis,” said Tony Xu, CEO and co-founder of DoorDash, in the press-release statement. “To truly empower and grow local economies, you must start with the entrepreneur. With a commitment to advancing diversity and equity, starting with the restaurant industry, we’re excited to provide business owners with specialized tools to thrive during one of the most challenging times of our generation.”
As AfroTech previously reported, around 41% of Black-owned businesses have shuttered since February 2020 — the start of the COVID-19 pandemic — compared to 17% of white-owned businesses. These statistics suggest that Black-owned businesses in general, and Black-owned restaurants in particular, have been the hardest hit by the pandemic. DoorDash, however, seems ready to change that.
According to the press release, 100 spots will take part in an eight-week-long curriculum and receive a grant of $20,000 in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, and Philadelphia.
Applications close on March 2, 2021 at 5 p.m. PST.
Click here for more information on how to apply.