Grants for Black, Indigenous Owners Open March 15

Black and Indigenous operators can qualify for $15,000, first-come, first-served—but you'd better be quick on the trigger.

Smiling black woman with gray hair in an updo speaking.
Chef and author Carla Hall is on the JBF's leadership committee for the grant program. /

The James Beard Foundation (JBF) has announced a second round of grants for Black and Indigenous restaurant owners. The JBF Food and Beverage Investment Fund for Black and Indigenous Americans will award 18 grants of $15,000 each to qualifying food and beverage businesses across the U.S. Three grants will be awarded to businesses in six different regions, which means three Colorado operators could potentially receive the funding.

Applications will be accepted from 10 a.m. (MT) to 4 p.m. (MT) on Monday, March 15. (Yes, you read that right. That’s a six-hour window, so pretend you’re on Jeopardy and smash that send button—fast.) Grants will be awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis, and funds will be distributed no later than Tuesday, April 6.

Eligible restaurants must be independently owned; have fewer than 50 full- or part-time employees as of February 15, 2020; and be at least 51 percent Black- or Native-owned. If you’ve already applied for the fund but didn’t receive a grant, you will need to re-apply. Businesses that have already received a grant are not eligible to apply a second time.

The reason for the incredibly short application window? During the first round of funding in January 2021, it took just 90 minutes for JBF to receive enough complete applications to award all the grants. The Foundation’s website says, “Equipped with this knowledge, we have decided to shorten the second round application window so as to save potential applicants’ time and energy on the application as we expect to receive a significant number of applications within the 6-hour window we have created.”

So you’re encouraged (and pretty much required) to have all your info in hand and well-organized if you want to have a chance at receiving the funding. Visit the grant FAQs and application criteria (which includes a preview of the paperwork) to make sure you’re prepared at the stroke of 10 a.m.

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