American Express’ Grant for Independent Restaurants is Open!

American Express is running its international grant scheme for independent restaurants for a third year. Restaurants across Greater London and Greater Manchester are invited to apply.

A total of 20 eligible restaurants of community significance across both Manchester and London will each receive a grant of £11,000 to enhance their business operations and the experience for diners in the months ahead. Brixton BID is working with partners such as the IDA Foundation and the Association of Town and City Management to distribute the funds to great businesses.

These improvements will have a long-term impact on business growth and sustainability, allowing owners to grow their customer base and increase community vibrancy.

The grant programme comes at a time when hospitality operators continue to face a challenging market and rising costs across all areas of their business. The programme will help boost a hospitality sector with its sights set firmly on growth over the next 12 months. According to new American Express research*, in the UK, one third (33%)* of hospitality businesses plan to invest in their premises over the next 12 months. The top factors driving this investment are the desire to win new customers (43%)* and improve the customer experience (36%)*. 

Gordon McGowan, Owner of 2023 grantee Buster Mantis

“We’re delighted to once again back small independent restaurants and this year, extend the grant programme to cover venues in Manchester. Our hope is that the grant funding offers a welcome boost to its recipients.”

Dan Edelman, Vice President and General Manager of UK Merchant Services at American Express

“We’re excited to be partnering with American Express again for the third year of the Backing International Small Restaurants programme. This year’s expansion to nine global cities demonstrates our shared commitment to boosting long-term sustainability for culturally significant and independent restaurants. By increasing the grant amount, we can provide even greater support to these businesses, empowering them to thrive and continue to be cultural cornerstones within their communities.”

David Downey, Executive Director, IDA Foundation

Ojay McDonald, ATCM Chief Executive, added:
“The Backing International Small Restaurants programme has provided such an important lifeline for some great food businesses who needed a little bit of help to invest during such difficult economic times. We are excited about the expansion of the programme to Manchester as we understand the value it will bring to the local restaurants and the communities. We look forward to working with American Express, the IDA Foundation, and key members of our network locally such as CityCo Manchester and Croydon
BID to ensure as many businesses as possible get the opportunity to apply this year.”

What is the Grant is For?

The grant must be used towards critical business needs that support the restaurant for long-term business sustainability. Potential uses could include critical improvements needed to sustain the business operations such as enhancing digital capabilities, building outdoor dining spaces, purchasing new equipment and making other physical improvements.

Who Can Apply?

Greater London and Greater Manchester based independent food businesses including restaurants, cafes, bars and pubs with annual revenues below £1 million. The grant program is focused on venues owned or operated by underrepresented or economically vulnerable members of the community. This might include those experiencing hardship, women, people of colour, LGBTQIA+, immigrants, etc.

Further Information

Make sure you double check the eligibility criteria before you submit your application. FAQs are available here. The Terms and Conditions are available

Once you are sure that you meet the eligibility criteria, APPLY NOW and fill out
the application form here. The deadline for applications is 5am, 31st May 2024.

Applicants will need to explain how they will use the grant to drive their business forward. Recipients will be announced and awarded the funding later this Summer.

For any other questions, please contact Cathy Lin of the IDA Foundation, at, or call or message IDA Foundation via Whatsapp at
+1 (202) 656-5541.

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