Throughout the year, Americans have shown up in a big way for their favorite small restaurants, and we’re happy to have played a small role in the effort to eat local. We know that restaurants and small business owners represent the best of our communities, and we continue to look for ways to support our partners in keeping the doors open and the customers coming back.

That’s why today we’re thrilled to share that—in partnership with the Local Initiatives Support Corporation—Uber has distributed $4.5 million to 900 local restaurants across the country. Each restaurant has received microgrants of $5,000 to use at their discretion to cover expenses, part of our Eat Local Support Effort, a $20 million commitment to support restaurants announced in February.

An overwhelming majority of the recipients are women or minority owned businesses, who we know have been among those hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Across the country more than 87% of the recipients are women or people of color. Among the restaurants receiving grants are Mr. Smith’s of Georgetown in Washington DC, Cedars Restaurant in Seattle, and The Igloo, a frozen treats concept with two locations in Philadelphia. You can see the full list of recipient restaurants here.

Mr. Smith’s of Georgetown has been a DC staple for more than five decades, and manager Juan Andino is getting back to business. “District restaurants are vital to the city’s economy and the events from last year really hit our industry hard,” he says. “We’re grateful for the support of Uber Eats, and we’re looking forward to serving our community for even more decades to come.”

“Grants like this will help us keep the restaurant open as we welcome more customers back to the restaurants,” says Moe Khan, owner of Cedars Restaurant, one of the 900 recipients across the country. “Like so many restaurants, we struggled to keep our doors open throughout the lockdowns, and we’re grateful for Uber and Postmates,”

For Alisa Haruthai, owner of Mamamade Thai, a San Diego favorite, app-based delivery services have been a rare bright spot over the last year, “And this grant money is a little extra help at an important time. We’ve been able to keep our doors open for our customers and our team members paid—and we’re getting ready for a busy summer as San Diego comes back to life.”

The Uber team has been incredibly honored to have worked alongside LISC, whose expertise in grant-making with an equity lens was instrumental in identifying restaurants most in need, especially those owned by people of color and women. Only small and medium sized restaurants with fewer than five locations were eligible.

“Small business owners, and restaurants in particular, have weathered an incredibly challenging time during Covid-19,” says LISC President and CEO Lisa Glover.  “In providing much-needed funds across the U.S. we’re proud to partner with Uber Eats to support these businesses, which are so important to the fabric of our communities and the local economy.” 

Including the grants distributed through this program, the 2021 Eat Local project was a $20 million commitment to US restaurants, beginning Superbowl weekend with an awareness campaign starring restaurant lovers Mike Myers and Dana Carvey. The program also included policies around entirely free products—specifically Pickup on Uber Eats, Daily Payouts to Merchants, and Online Ordering tools—to ease financial concerns through the reopening.

As our communities—and our favorite restaurants—begin to open for dine-in again across the country, we’re focused on showing up for all merchant partners who choose to build their businesses with Uber Eats.