88 Restaurants across SoCalGas' Service Area will receive grants to support technology adoption, equipment upgrades, employee onboarding and retention, or unforeseen hardships
LOS ANGELES, Oct. 26, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Beginning today, independent restaurants can apply for a $5,000 grant from the California Restaurant Foundation's (CRF) Restaurants Care® Resilience Fund. Earlier this year, Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) donated $1 million to the Resilience Fund, bringing it to $2.1 million—the largest fund to date since the program's inception in 2021. Grants will be awarded to 182 California restaurants, including 88 in SoCalGas' service area, and funds may be used for technology adoption, equipment upgrades, employee onboarding and retention, or unforeseen hardships.
"For the third consecutive year, SoCalGas is supporting the California Restaurant Foundation's Restaurants Care Resilience Fund to provide grants to independent restaurants. These restaurants play a vital role in our local communities, and the foundation's grants bolster and maintain the livelihoods of local restaurant proprietors, their staff, and their establishments," said David Barrett, SoCalGas senior vice president, general counsel, and California Restaurant Foundation board member.
This is the second round of grants in 2023, made possible through donations from SoCalGas, the PG&E Corporation Foundation (PG&E Foundation), and San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E). The first round of 2023 Restaurants Care® Resilience Fund grants were distributed in June and restaurants that submitted applications in the spring but who were not funded do not need to reapply to be considered for this round of grants.
Resilience Fund applications are open October 25 through November 8, 2023. Eligibility is open to California restaurants located in the utility companies' service areas, must be open for at least one year, have up to five units, have annual revenue of up to $3 million, with special consideration for those owned by women or people of color. Applications can be found at www.restaurantscare.org/resilience.
"SoCalGas has provided invaluable and unwavering support for the Restaurants Care Resilience Fund since its inception in 2021, which has led to hundreds of independent restaurant owners across Southern California fortifying their businesses for the long haul," said Alycia Harshfield, Executive Director of California Restaurant Foundation. "We are thrilled to open applications for the second time this year and again offer $5,000 grants to owners looking to enhance their restaurants via technology adoption, equipment upgrades, employee onboarding and retention, or overcoming unforeseen hardships."
Since its inception, the Resilience Fund has awarded over 1,100 grants to independently owned restaurants across California. Among them, 68% were women-owned, and 83% were owned by people of color.
"With the grant we received this summer from SoCalGas, will were able to purchase a standing fryer, refrigerator, and sandwich bar. We've been able to make food more efficiently, keep our ingredients fresher, and have provided our customers a better dining experience," said Stacy Davis from Stacy's Kitchen in Blythe, California.
In addition to providing financial support to restaurants through the foundation, SoCalGas offers programs and services to help business customers select energy-efficient equipment. Restaurant owners can schedule a 'Try Before You Buy' demo with natural gas cooking equipment before purchasing, request a no-cost energy survey to be conducted by a utility expert, and obtain information on rebates and incentives for eligible energy efficient natural gas cooking equipment, water heating, heat recovery products, and energy-efficient upgrade installation.
SoCalGas' support of the California Restaurant Fund is part of the company's ASPIRE 2045 sustainability goals, which include a plan to invest $50 million to drive positive change in diverse and underserved communities across five years.
Headquartered in Los Angeles, SoCalGas® is the largest gas distribution utility in the United States. SoCalGas delivers affordable, reliable, and increasingly renewable gas service to 21.8 million consumers across 24,000 square miles of Central and Southern California. Gas delivered through the company's pipelines will continue to play a key role in California's clean energy transition—providing electric grid reliability and supporting wind and solar energy deployment.
SoCalGas' mission is to build the cleanest, safest and most innovative energy company in America. In support of that mission, SoCalGas is committed to the goal of achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in its operations and delivery of energy by 2045 and to replacing 20 percent of its traditional natural gas supply to core customers with renewable natural gas (RNG) by 2030. Renewable natural gas is made from waste created by dairy farms, landfills, and wastewater treatment plants. SoCalGas is also committed to investing in its gas delivery infrastructure while keeping bills affordable for customers. SoCalGas is a subsidiary of Sempra (NYSE: SRE), an energy infrastructure holding company based in San Diego.
This press release contains statements that constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are based on assumptions with respect to the future, involve risks and uncertainties, and are not guarantees. Future results may differ materially from those expressed or implied in any forward-looking statement. These forward-looking statements represent our estimates and assumptions only as of the date of this press release. We assume no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
In this press release, forward-looking statements can be identified by words such as "believes," "expects," "intends," "anticipates," "contemplates," "plans," "estimates," "projects," "forecasts," "should," "could," "would," "will," "confident," "may," "can," "potential," "possible," "proposed," "in process," "construct," "develop," "opportunity," "initiative," "target," "outlook," "optimistic," "poised," "maintain," "continue," "progress," "advance," "goal," "aim," "commit," or similar expressions, or when we discuss our guidance, priorities, strategy, goals, vision, mission, opportunities, projections, intentions or expectations.
Factors, among others, that could cause actual results and events to differ materially from those expressed or implied in any forward-looking statement include risks and uncertainties relating to: decisions, investigations, inquiries, regulations, denials or revocations of permits, consents, approvals or other authorizations, renewals of franchises, and other actions by (i) the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), U.S. Department of Energy, and other governmental and regulatory bodies and (ii) the U.S. and states, counties, cities and other jurisdictions therein where we do business; the success of business development efforts and construction projects, including risks in (i) completing construction projects or other transactions on schedule and budget, (ii) realizing anticipated benefits from any of these efforts if completed, and (iii) obtaining the consent or approval of third parties; litigation, arbitrations and other proceedings, and changes to laws and regulations; cybersecurity threats, including by state and state-sponsored actors, of ransomware or other attacks on our systems or the systems of third parties with which we conduct business, including the energy grid or other energy infrastructure, all of which have become more pronounced due to recent geopolitical events; our ability to borrow money on favorable terms and meet our obligations, including due to (i) actions by credit rating agencies to downgrade our credit ratings or place those ratings on negative outlook or (ii) rising interest rates and inflation; failure of our counterparties to honor their contracts and commitments; the impact on affordability of our customer rates and our cost of capital and on our ability to pass through higher costs to customers due to (i) volatility in inflation, interest rates and commodity prices and (ii) the cost of the clean energy transition in California; the impact of climate and sustainability policies, laws, rules, regulations, disclosures and trends, including actions to reduce or eliminate reliance on natural gas, increased uncertainty in the political or regulatory environment for California natural gas distribution companies, the risk of nonrecovery for stranded assets, and our ability to incorporate new technologies; weather, natural disasters, pandemics, accidents, equipment failures, explosions, terrorism, information system outages or other events that disrupt our operations, damage our facilities or systems, cause the release of harmful materials or fires or subject us to liability for damages, fines and penalties, some of which may not be recoverable through regulatory mechanisms or insurance or may impact our ability to obtain satisfactory levels of affordable insurance; the availability of natural gas and natural gas storage capacity, including disruptions caused by failures in the pipeline system or limitations on the withdrawal of natural gas from storage facilities; changes in tax and trade policies, laws and regulations, including tariffs, revisions to international trade agreements and sanctions, any of which may increase our costs, reduce our competitiveness, impact our ability to do business with certain counterparties, or impair our ability to resolve trade disputes; and other uncertainties, some of which are difficult to predict and beyond our control.
These risks and uncertainties are further discussed in the reports that the company has filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). These reports are available through the EDGAR system free-of-charge on the SEC's website, www.sec.gov, and on Sempra's website, www.sempra.com. Investors should not rely unduly on any forward-looking statements.
Sempra Infrastructure, Sempra Infrastructure Partners, Sempra Texas, Sempra Texas Utilities, Oncor Electric Delivery Company LLC (Oncor) and Infraestructura Energética Nova, S.A.P.I. de C.V. (IEnova) are not the same companies as the California utilities, San Diego Gas & Electric Company or Southern California Gas Company, and Sempra Infrastructure, Sempra Infrastructure Partners, Sempra Texas, Sempra Mexico, Sempra Texas Utilities, Oncor and IEnova are not regulated by the CPUC.
About the California Restaurant Foundation (CRF):
California is home to more than 90,000 eating and drinking places that ring up more than $72 billion in sales and employ more than 1.6 million workers, making restaurants an indisputable driving force in the state's economy. The California Restaurant Foundation is a non-profit that empowers and invests in California's restaurant workforce. Founded in 1981, CRF supports the restaurant community through relief grants for restaurant workers facing a hardship, job and life skills training for 13,500 high school students each year, and scholarships. For more information visit www.calrestfoundation.org.
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SOURCE Southern California Gas Company