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Small Latino and AAPI-Owned Restaurants Receive $2,500 Grants

Small Latino and AAPI-Owned Restaurants Receive $2,500 Grants

The Latino Restaurant Association today announced that 35 restaurant owners have been awarded $2,500 grants, with a focused effort in supporting 25 Latino-owned and 10 Asian Americans and Pacific Islander (APPI)-owned restaurants. This inaugural initiative was made possible through a $100,000 grant from SoCalGas and is part of the company’s ongoing support for small restaurants recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic. Since 2021, SoCalGas has supported 471 small restaurants with over $2 million in grants through the California Restaurant Foundation’s Restaurants Resilience Fund.

The grant application was open to restaurant owners in Los Angeles County, with a particular emphasis on Latino and AAPI-owned businesses meeting the following criteria: having a single location, generating annual revenue under $1 million, being SoCalGas customers, and having been in business for at least three years. The goal of the grants is to highlight the solidarity of the Latino and AAPI communities, who have significantly contributed to the diverse culture of Los Angeles in the face of great challenges. The grant recipients will be able to use the funds toward the purchase of interior equipment, technology upgrades, employee benefits or other changes that will support their small business.

“The restaurants who have been awarded grants are focal points in their communities and serve as a gathering place for everyone, so it’s important to support local businesses like these, especially during difficult economic times,” said Andy Carrasco, Vice President of Communications, Local Government and Community Affairs at SoCalGas and member of the Latino Restaurant Association Board of Directors. “As we celebrate Latino Heritage month, we want to also express our solidarity with the AAPI community, highlight the commonalities, and celebrate the unique cultures reflected in the restaurant’s cuisines.”

“We are very grateful to SoCalGas for their contribution of $100,000 to the Latino Restaurant Association. This funding has allowed us to give back to our vibrant restaurant community in the form of $2,500 grants,” said Lilly Rocha, Executive Director and CEO, Latino Restaurant Association. “As an association, we are committed to going above and beyond for our members and communities. It was important to the Latino Restaurant Association to also offer these grants to those in the AAPI community. Our communities thrive when we come together, and coming together often looks like sharing a meal in one of our local restaurants.”

“The grants awarded to these restaurants will not only support jobs but stabilize long standing, culturally oriented, small businesses that are critical for our city to be vibrant and strong,” said Senator Maria Elena Durazo. “We are proud of these efforts by the Latino Restaurant Association and commend all of our small business owners who are being recognized and awarded as part of this program.”

“La Mascota has been in Boyle Heights since 1952, and in 70 years, we have overcome multiple periods of economic hardship. With this grant from the Latino Restaurant Association, we will be able to take on the rising costs that have especially impacted us over the past few years,” said Patty Aparicio, owner of La Mascota. “We appreciate the additional resources that will help us continue serving tamales and sweet breads to the Boyle Heights community.”

SoCalGas’ ASPIRE 2045 sustainability and climate commitment to net zero emissions, also highlights goals in safety, DE&I in the workplace, and a plan to invest $50 million in underserved communities.

The Latino Restaurant Association (LRA) supports and promotes restaurateurs, small businesses and the Latino restaurant community to ensure the equitable economic growth of the sector. LRA community members come together to network with industry pros, market their brand and learn new ways of making their business more efficient. For more information on the LRA, visit