Resilience Fund

A Relief Fund with Heart

In May 2021, we notified 318 small restaurants that more relief is on the way! The Restaurants Care Resilience Fund, providing grants up to $3,500, was created to keep neighborhood restaurants open and crews employed. It’s a continuation of our work to care for the people at the heart of CA’s restaurants. 

We are inspired by the determination and grit of these restaurants. Many are multigeneration, family-owned businesses with amazing stories and connections to their neighborhoods.

And we’re not stopping there. Wells Fargo is powering a year of small business support services. These restaurants now have access to experts, discounts, and trainings.

Thank you to our incredible partners to saying “yes!” to helping restaurants: SoCalGas, PG&E, SDG&E, Wells Fargo and the California Community Foundation. 

Restaurants Care was created in 2017 as a safety-net for restaurant workers, and that hasn’t stopped! Year-round we help the servers, cooks, and dishwashers at the heart of restaurants.  To learn more about hardship grants for restaurant workers click here

PG&E - Resilience Fund
SDGE - Resilience Fund
CA Community Foundation a Restaurants Care Champion

What resilience looks like 

Grants for operating
A safety-net for crew members 
Free services and resources


More than Money

We are committed to long-term success and resilience. Restaurants that received a grant from the Resilience Fund have been welcomed into a cohort and receive one year of support services and resources to improve their businesses for the long-term. 

Small Business Support Services
powered by

membership to the CRA



monthly training

social connections

access to experts

Meet the Restaurant Grantees

a bit about the restaurants



The Resilience Fund restaurants are fighters! They have faced closures, staff reductions, skyrocketing PPE costs, long hours, and the ever-looming threat of Covid-19. They have innovated, pivoted, and hung on! 


Chef Plating Food
Chef Plating Food

More than 130 grants were given in Los Angeles County, 77 in San Diego County, 62 in San Francisco and Alameda Counties, 29 in Sacramento and San Joaquin Counties and 18 in Fresno and Kern Counties. Regions were determined by where we had funding. To qualify, the restaurants had to be single-unit, employ fewer than 50 staff members, be currently open and have experienced a revenue loss of at least 20% from 2019-2020. 




The average Resilience Fund grant recipient has been in business for 11 years. The restaurants collectively employ 3,113 workers. Fun fact! At least two grant recipients were featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives! Here’s Smitty’s Wings & Things in Stockton —>

Chef Plating Food

Grant Amount

up to $3,500

What did grants cover?

Restaurants Care is a nonprofit centered around caring for the people at the heart of restaurants. This grant funding is intended to be used on payroll and related expenses such as increasing hours and bring on new hires. By taking care of the payroll expense, we allow the restaurant operator to free up funds for other business expenses such as rent, technology upgrades, and outdoor dining retrofitting. 

We’ll take care of your crew. You take care of your business.

Chef Plating Food

Restaurant Spotlights

meet a few of the incredible restaurants 

Doggos Gus, Imperial Beach

Gus worked as a dishwasher, busser, and cook before finally starting his gourmet Mexican hotdog catering business. Eventually, he saved enough to open a brick-and-mortar location in San Diego’s Imperial Beach. When the beaches shut down last summer, sales were the lowest they’ve ever been during what should have been their busiest season. 

Asmara Restaurant, Oakland

Asmara Restaurant opened its doors in 1985 in Oakland to serve authentic Ethiopian cuisine. If you’ve ever experienced Ethiopian dining you know dishes are served on large platters for groups to enjoy together. That’s tough to do with take-out. The business declined more than 60%. Loyal customers have been keeping the restaurant afloat.

TeaPop, North Hollywood

Entrepreneurship is in Arlene’s blood. Her father and his 5 siblings own Chinese restaurants across the US. She continued the family legacy by starting TeaPop, a Taiwanese fusion cafe in North Hollywood. She had 11 employees, down to 4 at Thanksgiving, and then 0 at the end of the year when all resources were exhausted. She’s using this grant to build back her team.

Giving Crew

How did this start?

Restaurants Care is a relief fund for California restaurant workers launched in 2017. We provide direct assistance when cooks, servers, dishwashers and more face unforeseen hardship. When the pandemic hit, we mobilized quickly to support 1,200 restaurant workers and their families.

Given the extraordinary circumstances brought on by the pandemic, we recognized a need to go further and help restaurant businesses stay open and keep their crews employed.

This dream was made possible by a coalition of funders who were truly partners in creating the Resilience Fund. Our deepest gratitude to lead funder SoCalGas and generous funders PG&E, SDG&E and the California Community Foundation. 

We love restaurants. We’re here to help. 

in the news


LA Times

Grass-roots grants help desperate restaurants make ends meet

San Gabriel Valley Tribune

132 LA County restaurants awarded $3,500 grants, year-long support

Fresno ABC 30

15 Frseno County restaurants receive grant and year-long support

Sacramento Business Journal

Sacramento County restaurant operators can apply for grants through new fund.

Times of San Diego

Small local restaurants to get boost from utility company grants

Fox 5

Restaurants apply for $200k worth of small business grants from utility


SoCalGas Invites Los Angeles Area Restaurants to Apply for Pandemic Relief

Noticias 14

Fox 40


Nearly 80 San Diego restaurants get cash grants for pandemic bounce back

Fox 40

The Rind in Sacramento talks cheese and Resilience Fund

Media Inquiries

For media inquiries, please contact Powerhouse Communications
Kathryn Kelly at

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