American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation Announce $1+ Million Grant Program for “Backing Historic Small Restaurants” in the U.S.
American Express (NYSE: AXP), in partnership with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, today announced “Backing Historic Small Restaurants,” a more than $1 million investment to preserve historic restaurants in the U.S. as they continue to navigate the pandemic and plan for recovery. This is the latest in a series of initiatives announced this month by American Express to support the restaurant community nationwide.
Through the grant program, small historic restaurant owners will have the opportunity to improve, upgrade, and preserve their physical spaces and online businesses, as well as mitigate existing operating costs. For example, restaurants can rehabilitate the exteriors of historic buildings and facades, expand outdoor dining, upgrade their takeout and online ordering systems, or establish a stronger online presence. Updates like these are critical for future success in a post-pandemic world.
“For generations, our nation’s oldest and most historic small restaurants have been safe spaces for customers to share meals, ideas, and their culture. They are at the heart of our neighborhoods, serve our communities, and help advance cultural and social change for those who live there,” said Colleen Taylor, President of Merchant Services – U.S., American Express. “Many have stood the test of time, but the pandemic has tested them in ways they could have never imagined. The ‘Backing Historic Small Restaurants’ program will help preserve these spaces not only for their legacy, but also for their earned place in our nation’s future.”
As part of the grant program, American Express’s partners are also joining in to support these historic small restaurants:
- AT&T Business and Dell Technologies will each offer up to $5K to each awarded historic small restaurant for a collective total of up to $250K to spend on products and services for digital upgrades.
- Resy, a hospitality technology platform that is part of the American Express family, will offer complimentary use of ResyOS – its restaurant management software – for one year to each of the historic small restaurants selected to help streamline costs and boost restaurant operations.
- Main Street America will provide specialized technical assistance on small business marketing strategy for grantees, delivered through a series of three training webinars and Q&A “ask the expert” opportunities with UrbanMain Marketing Specialists.
- The National Restaurant Association and National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation will also offer access to virtual educational tools and training to support the 25-awarded restaurants, as well as up to 75 nominees.
“American entrepreneurship is a defining aspect of our nation’s heritage, and historic commercial landmarks are vital to community identity and economics,” said Katherine Malone-France, Chief Preservation Officer for the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “This initiative acknowledges that legacy restaurants are not only welcoming spaces where people break bread, but also gathering places where history is made in meaningful ways, small and large, over and over again. Though hard hit by the pandemic, preserving these treasures helps restore our connectedness and commercial life. We are honored to partner with American Express to preserve these legacies and tell the powerful stories of restaurants that have nourished our souls, helped shape our past, and must be a part of our future.”