Amex-Backed Grant Program Returns to Support Toronto Restaurants


TORONTO — American Express Canada has announced the return of the Backing International Small Restaurants program. From now until applications close on July 7, small-restaurant owners in Toronto can apply to receive one of six grants of $19,500 each to use towards making critical improvements to help their businesses thrive.

The program, run by the International Downtown Association Foundation and supported by American Express, first launched last year and was created to offer support to independent restaurants with community significance owned by individuals from under-represented and/or economically vulnerable groups in five major cities globally. The grants helped selected local restaurants in Toronto make physical improvements, support critical operating costs and positively impact the experiences they provide to their communities.

“Local restaurants are essential to the vibrancy of our neighbourhoods and are special places where people meet and connect,” says Kerri-Ann Santaguida, general manager and vice-president of Merchant Services, American Express Canada. “We’re especially proud to offer this opportunity to independent restaurants, and to be able to help these business owners continue to serve their customers in such a meaningful way.”

“As we launch the Backing International Small Restaurants program for the second year, we recognize the vital role that small, independent restaurants play in our communities,” says David Downey, executive director, IDA Foundation. “This program is a demonstration of our commitment to supporting these businesses and helping them thrive and succeed in the wake of ongoing economic challenges worldwide. It’s an honor to implement this innovative work with the generous support of American Express.”

To submit an application, visit:

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