DENVER – DoorDash recently announced a call for applications for the Denver metro cohort of the Accelerator for Local Restaurants to help level the playing field for entrepreneurs and increase access to opportunity for small businesses owned by women, immigrants and people of color.
The program is being launched in partnership with the Hispanic Restaurant Association and Accion Opportunity Fund.
“During the pandemic, Hispanic and minority-owned businesses were the most affected, and they’re the ones that did not seek help. So, this fund actually helps give those businesses an opportunity to have access to funds and also education,” Hispanic Restaurant Association founder Selene Nestor said.
According to DoorDash, the Accelerator for Local Restaurants is designed to help stabilize, adapt, and grow greater Denver area restaurants by providing a $20,000 grant and an 8-week intensive curriculum that features local experts, one-on-one business advising and the opportunity to connect with other local restaurant owners. The curriculum covers topics such as marketing, access to capital, managing cash flow and menu creation, and more.
“Having access to resources is important. There’s a lot of resources out there, but people don’t really know about them. So spreading the word about all the resources that there are, like this program with DoorDash, is also important,” Nestor said.
Andrea Martinez, co-owner of La Rola Colombian Kitchen in Littleton, has been chosen as a program participant.
“In 2017, we started with a food truck, then we jumped to a food stall. We went to a cloud kitchen for a little while. Now our first brick and mortar is here in Littleton,” Martinez said. “We had a lot of challenges. As Latinos, we don’t want to ask for help. We want to try to get help from family, friends, or have another job to cover the expenses for the business. So we keep quiet.”
Martinez said her restaurant has provided food to customers using DoorDash for a while, and she’s excited about this new partnership and the financial support.
“We are so happy because we need funds to open our new place. It’s so hard to find, like, loans or help from the banks. So this is amazing for our business,” Martinez said.
Applications will be accepted through September 9, 2022.
According to DoorDash, the 8-week long program will begin October 11, 2022, through a combination of in-person and online learning opportunities.