California Electric Companies Support Local Restaurants
May 2021
Two California electric companies contributed to the California Restaurant Foundation’s Restaurants Care Resilience Fund to assist small restaurants and their workforces struggling in the wake of the pandemic. 

This month, thanks to the support of Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E) and San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E), among other California businesses, the foundation notified 318 small restaurant owners that they will receive grants of up to $3,500 and one year of small business support services, including access to experts and training. PG&E, SDG&E, Southern California Gas, Wells Fargo, and the California Community Foundation collectively donated $1.25 million for grant distribution. (The electric companies’ contributions are funded by shareholders, not customers.) 

“What’s really unique about our Resilience Fund is that it supports the business as well as individual restaurant workers,” said Alycia Harshfield, executive director of the California Restaurant Foundation. “A portion of the funds raised will provide grants for cooks, servers, dishwashers, and more who face unforeseen hardship and have nowhere else to turn.” 

Restaurants with 50 or fewer employees in six Northern and Central California counties were eligible to apply for a grant and support services to help them rebound from the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Special consideration was given to restaurants owned by women and minorities. 

“Many local restaurants are cornerstones of their towns and communities, and they have suffered tremendously during the COVID-19 pandemic. These small businesses provide jobs, help families celebrate important milestones, and fuel local economies. PG&E is supporting the Restaurants Care Resilience Fund to help restaurants keep their doors open, and we’re continuing to help these and our other business customers recover from the financial effects of the pandemic,” said PG&E Executive Vice President and Chief Customer Officer Marlene Santos. 

 “Not only do these diverse, family-owned restaurants add to the cultural vibrancy of our neighborhoods, they are engines of the local economy,” said Todd Cahill, SDG&E’s director of customer care and California Restaurant Association San Diego County Chapter board member. “Unfortunately, they are also among the businesses hardest hit by the pandemic. We hope these funds will help to accelerate their recovery and that of the industry as a whole.” 

EEI’s member companies are committed to the customers and communities they serve. To learn more about how electric companies have provided support to their communities during the pandemic, visit EEI’s COVID-19 Response webpage.