New grant programme Dine Local launches to back Brixton’s independent, small restaurants

Dine Local promotional image


Independent restaurant owners in Brixton can apply for a share of £50,000 as part of the Dine Local programme, launched today, run by the International Downtown Association Foundation and Brixton BID, and supported by American Express.

Dine Local is part of American Express’ global “Backing International Small Restaurants” grant programme to support culturally significant, independent restaurants owned by individuals from underrepresented groups.

The IDA Foundation is working in partnership with the Brixton Business Improvement District (BID) to select the grant recipients from within the district boundaries. Ten restaurants will receive £5,000 each to help them recover from the effects of the pandemic and to make critical improvements needed to help boost their business, such as enhancing digital capabilities, building or revitalising their dining spaces, and making other physical improvements. The Dine Local programme aims to highlight the important role these businesses play in their communities and provide them with valuable support to succeed.

Restaurants and other hospitality venues with a foodservice offer can apply online from today until 31 January 2022. Applicants need to explain how they will use the Dine Local grant to drive their business forward. Finalists will then be announced and awarded the funding during Spring 2022.

David Downey, Executive Director, IDA Foundation, said: “We are able to implement this ground-breaking work thanks to the generous support of American Express. We must do everything we can to build these businesses back up following the devastating economic consequences resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, and that means supporting our local restaurants and hospitality venues with as much direct assistance as possible. Not only will this funding help small businesses thrive, but it also will play a role in furthering diversity, equity and inclusion—a key objective of the IDA Foundation.”

Gianluca Rizzo, Director, Brixton BID, said: “Brixton is all about independent small businesses and is famous for our distinctive food scene. With hospitality being hit so hard by the pandemic, we are very proud to be working with the IDA Foundation and American Express to support our local eateries.”

Dan Edelman, General Manager, UK Merchant Services at American Express, added: “American Express has a proud history of championing small businesses and celebrating the vital contribution they make to local communities. Hospitality businesses in particular have been through an incredibly challenging time over the course of the pandemic so we hope this financial support will help provide a welcome boost.”

Dine Local reflects American Express’ wider support for local, independent restaurants. Earlier this year, the company announced a similar programme in the United States, “Backing Historic Small Restaurants” to support the recovery and long-term success of historic small restaurants in the US. Both these programmes compliment American Express’ Shop Small campaign, a global movement to spotlight and support small, independent businesses, along with its support of Small Business Saturday, of which American Express remains founder and the Principal Supporter in the UK.

For more details about the programme and to apply visit the Brixton BID website.