Amex Increases Grants for 4th Historic Small Restaurant Program
Backing Historic Small Restaurants

Amex Increases Grants for 4th Historic Small Restaurant Program

American Express has launched its latest Backing Historic Small Restaurants Program — and has significantly increased the grant money up for grabs.

About this year’s Backing Historic Small Restaurants Program:

For the fourth annual Backing Historic Small Restaurants Program, American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation have announced that it will not only double the number of grant recipients but also increase the total funding. This year, 50 historic small restaurants in the United States will each receive $50,000. That brings the total to $2.5 million versus the $1 million given out in previous years (25 winners receiving $40,000 each). Of note, at least $40,000 of these grants must be used towards exterior improvement, while that other $10,000 can be used for operating expenses or other business expenses.

In order to apply for the program, businesses must be independently owned and located in a historic or older building and/or neighborhood. Additional criteria include telling an inclusive story about cuisine and community in America, having been disproportionately impacted by economic challenges, disasters, or other hardships, and having a compelling and inspiring historical narrative or cultural significance. Restaurant owners can apply for themselves or can be nominated by fans.

All nominations must be submitted by March 25th, 2024. Selected restaurants will then be contacted in May and announced publically in June.

Launched amid the pandemic, the Backing Historic Small Restaurants Program was created as a way to help save small businesses as they faced unprecedented challenges. In total, the program has now assisted 75 small businesses. Past grant recipients can be found on the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s website.

What they’re saying:

Commenting on the latest round of the program, Amex’s VP of Community Impact Alice Lin Fabiano said, “Small restaurants represent the rich fabric of our culture, and are the economic engine of our communities – yet they are facing real challenges to their survival with labor shortages and rising costs. American Express is responding to this need by doubling the number of grants offered to support 50 historic small restaurants.”

Additionally, National Trust for Historic Preservation President and CEO Carol Quillen said of the program , “The National Trust understands the importance of small businesses, especially multi-generational family-owned ones, in creating vibrant communities, and we are delighted to be able to expand this work with American Express.” Quillen added,d “Often, these businesses are centers of their communities, providing a gathering place and helping to cultivate a sense of belonging.”

My thoughts:

It’s awesome to see that these pandemic-era programs are not only continuing but expanding! Kudos to Amex for that.

As for the small businesses that might benefit from this, the criteria are definitely more specific than some other programs. But, if you are a small restaurant in a history building or area, but sure to apply before the March 25th deadline.


Kyle Burbank

Head Writer ~ Fioney
Kyle is the head writer for Fioney. He is a personal finance nerd, constantly looking for new apps and services to test and incorporate into his own financial game plan. In addition to his role at Fioney, he's written for other publications including Born2Invest, Lifehack, and Laughing Place, as well as his own site Money@30. He also creates personal finance and travel-related videos for Fioney's YouTube channel, which has garnered more than 2 million views. Currently, Kyle resides in Springfield, Missouri with his wife of 10 years. Together, they enjoy traveling (including visiting Disney Parks around the world), dining, and playing with their dog Rigby.

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