Three LGBTQ+ Restaurateurs Awarded $100K Grants from $2 Million Covid Relief Fund

November 30, 2021

National LGBT Chamber of Commerce and Grubhub Announce Recipients of String-Free Funds for Struggling Restaurants

CHICAGO, Nov. 30, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — The National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), the business voice of the LGBTQ+ community and certifying body for LGBTQ+-owned businesses nationwide, and Grubhub, a leading U.S. food-ordering and delivery marketplace, announced today three recipients of $100,000 grants given by the NGLCC/Grubhub Community Impact Grant Program.

FOODE + Mercantile, Café Gabriela, Pitchers DC and League of Her Own, serving communities in Fredericksburg, Va., Oakland, Calif., and Washington, D.C., were granted $100,000 each at the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) Back to Business (B2B) Summit 2021. These small business owners are among the first recipients of the $2 million COVID-19 relief funds generated by the Chamber in partnership with Grubhub. With the funds, the NGLCC and Grubhub created the NGLCC/Grubhub Community Impact Grant Program to support struggling LGBTQ+ owned and LGBTQ+ ally establishments.

“The impact of COVID-19 has been debilitating for countless restaurant and bar owners, including the many LGBTQ+-owned restaurants across the country who have persisted through lockdowns, operational changes and labor and supply shortages,” said NGLCC Co-Founder and President Justin Nelson. “We’re grateful to have partnered with Grubhub to offer real lifelines to support businesses throughout the nation. America’s 1.4 million LGBTQ+-owned business owners have shown incredible resilience over the past two years, and as we travel along this road to full recovery, we are proud to continue being partners for many in our community.”

“COVID has turned the restaurant industry on its head the last 18 plus months, and at Grubhub, we’ve been working hard every day to support our restaurant partners across the country,” said Amy Healy, vice president of government relations for Grubhub. “As the world starts to return to a new normal, we’re proud to partner with the NGLCC and provide these grants to LGBTQ+ owned and LGBTQ+ ally-owned restaurants across the country that are pillars of their communities.”

Here’s what the grant recipients had to say:

“As a trans-masculine and queer, immigrant person of color, I’ve worked hard and put all my love and energy into building a beautiful and welcoming space in Café Gabriela. I’ve remained resilient through COVID and this grant is the injection of funds that we need to continue along our journey to full recovery,” said Penny Baldado, owner of Café Gabriela.

“Building community in a fun and safe place has been our mission since the very beginning. We’re relieved and thankful for these funds, and are looking forward to more stable days ahead,” said David Perruzza, owner of League of Her Own and Pitchers DC.

“The past 18 months have been some of the most challenging in my career. Restaurant people are resilient people, but we are forever changed, and these funds will be crucial as we continue to evolve with new technologies and tools to help us compete in this new normal,” said Joy Crump, founding partner and chef of FOODE + Mercantile.

The National LGBT Chamber of Commerce and Grubhub partnered for the month of June for Grubhub’s Donate the Change program, where diners could opt-in, round up their order total, and donate the difference to the NGLCC. Applications for the grant program, ranging from $5,000 to $100,000, opened in September. Recipients were selected based on criteria including the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their businesses as well as the restaurants’ plans to use the grant money to recover from the pandemic. Following this initial round of recipients, more grants will be issued in late 2021 and early 2022.

These legacy businesses were initial recipients of a grant program intended to help restaurants and bars impacted by COVID-19. Over the past two years, these small business owners have been among the hardest hit by the global pandemic with loss of jobs and income alongside rising operating costs. For more background on each business, how they were impacted by COVID and how they plan to use funding from the grant, visit here.

Of the over 100 grants to be awarded, 30% of the funds available are intended for businesses owned by people of color and transgender/gender non-conforming individuals. In the coming weeks, grant recipients will be notified and a full list of restaurants and bars that received funds will be made available.

For more information on the Community Impact Grant Program please visit

The National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) is the business voice of the LGBT community and is the largest global advocacy organization specifically dedicated to expanding economic opportunities and advancements for LGBT people. NGLCC is the exclusive certification body for LGBT-owned businesses, known as Certified LGBT Business Enterprise® (Certified LGBTBE®) suppliers. @nglcc

About Grubhub
Grubhub is part of Just Eat (LSE: JET, AMS: TKWY, NASDAQ: GRUB), a leading global online food delivery marketplace. Dedicated to connecting more than 32 million diners with the food they love from their favorite local restaurants, Grubhub elevates food ordering through innovative restaurant technology, easy-to-use platforms and an improved delivery experience. Grubhub features more than 300,000 restaurant partners in over 4,000 U.S. cities.