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Grants on Offer to Help Sydney’s Small and Independent Restaurants Thrive

June 1, 2023

Sydney, Australia 1 June 2023 – American Express announces the return of its Backing International Small Restaurants grant program in partnership with the International Downtown Association Foundation and the support of Restaurant & Catering Australia.

The program aims to support small independent restaurants with community significance, as they navigate the challenges of the current economic climate. Additional consideration will be given to restaurants operated by underrepresented and/or economically vulnerable members of the community.

Six Sydney restaurants will each receive $21,000 in grant funding to invest in the ongoing success of their business. All small independent restaurants in Sydney are encouraged to apply – especially those who are anchors within their local community and are facing hardship.

Naysla Edwards, Vice President of Brand, Marketing and Member Experience for American Express Australia and New Zealand, said: “Many small restaurants that are pillars of their local community are doing it tough right now and need extra support. This program aims to help alleviate some of the financial pressure they’re facing so that they can continue to do what they do best – deliver extraordinary food and experiences for their customers.”

David Downey, Executive Director, IDA Foundation said, “We recognise the vital role that small, independent restaurants play in our communities. This program is a demonstration of our commitment to supporting these businesses and helping them thrive and succeed in the wake of ongoing economic challenges worldwide. It is an honour to implement this innovative work with the generous support of American Express.”

Suresh Manickam, CEO of Restaurant & Catering Australia said: “This will provide much-needed financial relief to restaurant businesses across Sydney. We are proud to support a program that contributes to the ongoing prosperity of restaurant businesses and recognises the vital contribution they bring to the vibrancy and appeal of Sydney.”

This is the second consecutive year Backing International Small Restaurants has run in Sydney, with year-one focusing on the historic Rocks area. Sydney is one of five major cities involved. Others include Mexico City, London, Tokyo and Toronto. To date, American Express has provided grants to more than 100 restaurants globally through this program and its U.S. Backing Historic Small Restaurants program. 

Backing International Small Restaurants builds on American Express’ efforts to support small businesses year-round, including through its annual Shop Small campaign, a global movement that shines a spotlight on small businesses, American Express Delicious Month Out and other global “Backing Small” programs.

To learn more about Backing International Small Restaurants, including eligibility and to apply, visit downtown.org/event/bisr.

Applications close 8 July 2023.



American Express – Jane Drew on 0416 137 335 or jane.e.drew@aexp.com

Ogilvy PR – Chloe Mugwangi on 0420 234 338 or chloe.mugwangi@ogilvy.com.au

About American Express

American Express is a globally integrated payments company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success. Learn more at americanexpress.com.au and connect with us on facebook.com/americanexpressaustraliainstagram.com/amexaulinkedin.com/company/american-expresstwitter.com/AmexAU, and youtube.com/americanexpressau.

Key links to products, services and corporate sustainability information: personal cardsbusiness cards and servicestravel servicesmerchant servicescorporate cardbusiness traveldiversity and inclusioncorporate sustainability and Environmental, Social, and Governance reports.

About The IDA Foundation

The IDA Foundation is a charitable non-profit organisation working in collaboration with the International Downtown Association to provide education, research and support for urban renewal and development.

About Restaurant & Catering Australia

R&CA is the not-for-profit national association that leads and represents the interests of over 57,000 restaurants, cafes, and catering businesses across Australia.

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