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Own a Restaurant? This info is IMPORTANT for YOU

Empire State Development Announces “Raising The Bar” Restaurant Recovery Fund

Empire State Development is offering grants of up to $5,000 for restaurants adjusting to COVID-19 safety guidelines. The $3M+ Raising the Bar Restaurant Recovery Fund—supported by Diageo North America, Coastal Pacific Wine & Spirits (a division of Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits), National Development Council and ESD—offers NYS restaurants up to $5K to support COVID-19-related upgrades.

 “Raising the Bar” grant funding can be used for COVID-19-related improvements and equipment that will allow the business to comply with social distancing guidelines, expand take-out/delivery operations, or accommodate outdoor dining such as plexiglass barriers/partitions, signage promoting social distancing and hygiene protocols, heaters, heat lamps, weatherization upgrades and insulated delivery bags;  improvements that will allow the business to continue operating through the winter months such as filtration system upgrades and food heaters to maintain temperature for to-go orders and purchasing PPE and sanitation supplies necessitated by the pandemic; and COVID-19 related business improvements like patio heaters or contactless technology. Qualifying purchases and expenditures must be from September 1, 2020 onwards to be eligible. Initial round of grants are up to $5,000. 

Initial grant funding will be awarded based on the received applications and dispersed independently by NDC, an experienced national economic non-profit that has been in operation since 1969. 

Restaurants can apply to the “Raising the Bar Restaurant Recovery Fund” starting Monday, January 11, 2021. For more information visit the ESD website at 

Application Link:

  • More good news for Restaurants:  “Restaurants and food service businesses that join Ritual through the Empire State Digital initiative will be able to accept touch-free payments from customers using their PayPal and Venmo apps, and will not be subject to Ritual processing fees for a limited time. As part of this initiative, Ritual will waive its set-up, monthly subscription and credit-card processing fees. Terms and conditions apply. Businesses may opt out at any time without penalty. Platforms can be customized to match businesses’ branding preferences and can be integrated for use with Instagram, Facebook and Google Ordering.” Click here to Find out more: