Joneyra & Jonny Laya, 4Pets, Orlando, FL >

Restaurant Futures Loan Program

Are you a restaurant with at least 3 years in business located in CA, FL, GA, DC, IL, LA, MA, MI, NJ, NY, OH, PA, TX, or WA? Are you committed to building a safe and equitable workplace for your employees?

If so, you may qualify for a loan up to $50,000 at 0% interest and only $25 monthly payments for the first 12 months.

Restaurants have been hit hard by the pandemic, but we can build a better hospitality industry.

COVID-19 has drastically changed the food & beverage industry and prospects for people who make their living in it.

  • 8 million cooks, dishwashers, servers, porters, hosts, managers, and bartenders lost their jobs in March.
  • Nearly 1 in 6 restaurants, representing nearly 100,000 establishments, is closed either permanently or long-term.
  • Nearly 3 million employees are still out of work; and the industry is on track to lose $240 billion in sales by the end of the year.

In collaboration with the Restaurant Workers Community Foundation (RWCF), we are launching a program that will provide 0% loans to restaurants committed to creating a safe, positive, and just work environment for their employees.

Read the press release

who qualifies?

Ascendus and RWCF have identified priority states with high concentrations of restaurant workers that have been hard-hit by shutdowns and permanent restaurant closures. Those include:

  • California
  • District of Columbia
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Louisiana
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • Texas
  • Washington

In order to qualify, your business must be located in one of the states listed above and be:

  • Minimum 3 years in operations
  • Minimum FICO of 575
  • Storefront food/beverage businesses (restaurants, bakeries, cafes, breweries, bar & grill, etc.)
  • Committed to creating a safe and equitable work environment for your employees
  • Non-storefront food/beverage businesses do not qualify (Food trucks, caterers, distributors & suppliers)
  • Franchises, chain restaurants & restaurants with more than 2 locations are ineligible

Qualified loan applicants will be asked, before a loan is granted, to consider their business operations on four dimensions and which they aim to improve upon going forward:

  • Sustainable wages & career ladders
  • Gender equity and sexual violence in the workplace
  • Immigrant and racial equity
  • Supporting workers with mental health and substance misuse challenges.

Successful loan applicants will not need to demonstrate perfect workplaces, but rather, an interest in identifying areas for improvement and a willingness to share their challenges. If your loan is approved, a representative from Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation will reach out to connect and learn more about your business and the changes you hope to make at your restaurant.

how to apply?

How to apply for a Restaurant Futures Loan: 

  • Submit an application online
  • If you pass our online application, complete the Restaurant Futures attestation survey. 
  • If you pass both the online application and the attestation survey, we will notify you via email if your application is selected for final review.

We ask for your patience as we evaluate all qualified applications.  Call volume is high.  If you have a question about your Restaurant Futures application, email us at [email protected] 

Rest assured; we use soft pull technology.  Applying will not affect your credit score. 

how can you help?

We have partnered with RWCF to distribute at least $1.2 million in 0% loans to restaurants that provide information about their policies and on wages, gender equity, racial justice, immigrant fair treatment and healthy workplaces, as well as how they aim to improve over the course of the loan period.

While $1.2 million is a good start, it’s only a drop in the bucket compared to the tremendous need. Please consider making a donation to support expanding this program to help restaurants survive while treating their workers with respect and dignity.

about Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation

Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation (RWCF) is an advocacy and action nonprofit created by and for restaurant workers. RWCF was founded in 2018 to advocate for – and raise funds for other nonprofits working toward – gender equity, racial justice, fair wages, and healthy work environments in the restaurant industry.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, RWCF launched the Restaurant Workers COVID-19 Crisis Relief Fund, which has raised over $7 million. Half of the fund is dedicated to direct financial assistance to vulnerable workers, one quarter to nonprofits providing crisis relief services like food and legal counsel, and the final quarter is for this zero-interest loan program to help restaurants to restart with more pro-worker frameworks in mind.

To learn more about the changes we hope to see in the industry, tune into RWCF’s IGTV channel to watch videos on addressing mental health and addiction in the workplace, fostering a culture of listening, and other important topics.

For more information, please visit www.RestaurantWorkersCF.org.

It’s great that our business can be a platform for people to be supportive and connect with each other.

The experience of working with Ascendus was awesome, particularly the excitement they showed in my progress and in my business.

I’ve had customers for 15 years, since I started out of my home. People keep coming back and many have become my good friends. I come to the store always happy.

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