New fund launches to help save Ontario restaurants and bars.
A new private sector relief fund is being launched this week to help support as many Ontario food and beverage establishments as possible in reopening and recovering from the financial setbacks of the pandemic. Hockey legend Darryl Sittler has laced up his skates to endorse the Restaurant & Bar Support Fund, which looks to raise as much as $5 million for Ontario restaurants, bars, pubs, pool halls and sports bars.
The Restaurant & Bar Support Fund is a registered not-for-profit established by concerned individuals who do not want to see the predicted numbers of closures and bankruptcies in Ontario’s food and beverage sector. A recent Restaurant Canada survey found that one in two (48 percent) of food service operators expect to permanently close their establishment within six months if conditions do not improve.
Darryl Sittler is enthusiastic about the Fund, “This is a great initiative to help our local restaurants, pubs, and sport bars that mean so much both to our neighbourhoods and communities. These small establishment owners are finding it very challenging right now. We hope the grant money will make a difference for them.”
Tony Carvalho, a founding member of the Fund states, “We are Ontarians helping fellow Ontarians and we are committed to supporting as many small businesses and entrepreneurs as we can through this difficult period of time. Our Fund will pay out one-time grants to these businesses so that they can keep their doors open, keep staff employed, and keep the smiles on their customers’ faces.”
Qualified applicants will receive a one-time grant of up to $5,000 to assist them in the reopening of their business. Priority is being given to applicants who demonstrate a commitment to their staff and neighbourhood.
The goals for the Fund over the next 12 months are to raise $5 million and to assist a minimum of 1,000 Ontario food and beverage businesses. All money received by the fund will be distributed.
“This is a grant — it’s not a loan. It doesn’t need to be repaid,” explains Carvalho.
The Restaurant & Bar Support Fund website has full details for both businesses looking for assistance and for donors looking to contribute to the Fund at RestaurantandBarSupportFund.ca.
There is a GoFundMe page for patrons who wish to donate.