American Express – Ten independent restaurants to share £50,000 business boost under Dine Local grant scheme

  • Supported by American Express, Dine local grants grants to independent restaurants owned by people from underrepresented groups
  • Beneficiaries sharing the £50,000 grant pot include small community businesses Papa’s Café, Lounge Brixton and Banh Banh Café

LONDON, UK – April 14, 2022 Ten independent Brixton businesses will each receive a £5,000 grant as part of the Dine local program, managed by the International Downtown Association Foundation and Brixton BID, and supported by American Express.

Funding from the grant will enable the 10 Brixton-based sites to make critical improvements that will drive their business forward. Among the recipients are Lounge Brixton, which supports local artists by expanding its live performance space; Papa’s Café, a community cafe located in a park and serving local residents; and family restaurant Banh Banh Café, which plans to install new kitchen equipment for the summer. The full list of Dine local recipients below.

This support comes at a critical time for independent restaurants. According to research* commissioned by American Express, more than half of people (56%) believe that independent hotel businesses in their area are struggling with staff shortages, while more than two-thirds (67%) believe that owners of these businesses are worried about their future. . Encouragingly, 85% of respondents said they plan to support independent hospitality businesses this year by visiting them more frequently or buying them takeaway food and drink.

Dine local is part of American Express’ Backing International Small Restaurants global grant program, created to support culturally significant independent restaurants owned by people from underrepresented groups in major cities around the world. The initiative aims to highlight the importance of these places to their local communities, providing them with valuable financial support as they recover from the impact of the pandemic.

David Downey, Executive Director of the IDA Foundation, said: “The IDA Foundation is pleased to support the relaunch of these restaurants which contribute to the identity and vitality of their local community. We look forward to seeing these businesses thrive again and are inspired by their resilience that allows them to bring people together in the neighborhood. »

Gianluca Rizzo, Director, Brixton BID, said“Brixton is above all small independent businesses. With the hospitality industry hard hit, Dine local was the perfect program for Brixton, coming at a critical time for some of our restaurants. The response from our community has been great as always, and I want to congratulate the winners and encourage all locals and new to Brixton to check out all of our amazing places and businesses.

Dan Edelman, Managing Director, UK Merchant Services at American Express, added: “After two turbulent years for the hospitality industry, it is more important than ever to support the small, independent restaurants that contribute so much to their local communities. American Express has a long history of supporting small businesses, and we’re proud to support these great places across the Dine local subsidies. I look forward to seeing these companies put their enterprising ideas into action and prosper into the future.

Dine local reflects American Express’ broader support for local independent restaurants. Last month, the company announced the second installment of its Backing Historic Restaurants grant program, which awarded grants to 25 small historic restaurants across the United States. Both programs are part of American Express’ broader Backing Small initiative to provide economically vulnerable small businesses with financial support and other resources to meet their critical needs and challenges. They also complement American Express’ Shop Small campaign, a global movement to shine a light on independent small businesses, as well as its support for Small Business Saturday – which this year celebrates its 10th anniversary in the UK and of which American Express is the founder and main supporter.

The full list of Dine local grant recipients is:

  • Banh Banh Cafe – A casual family restaurant serving Vietnamese dishes as a tribute to their grandmother, using the grant fund to install new kitchen equipment for dine-in and increase its take-out offer
  • Brixton Beast – An LGBTQIA+ friendly cafe and bar planning to renovate its indoor and outdoor dining areas, as well as the introduction of a wheelchair ramp
  • Black and white coffee – A community staple for more than 20 years, he plans to use grant funding to spruce up his interior and buy gear ahead of the summer sales period.
  • Etta’s Seafood Kitchen – Local restaurant whose owner has lived in the area for over 40 years, with plans to introduce a new click and collect service and an electric scooter for delivery, as well as helping with community health workshops
  • Jalisco– A Latin American-inspired family restaurant and Brixton Village favorite that employs staff from the local Latin American community, looking to purchase equipment ahead of the summer trading period
  • Kamoma- A casual Japanese restaurant that plans to update its ventilation system and purchase a new induction hob, as well as continuing to support efforts to donate surplus food to local charities
  • Brixton Lounge – A relaxed bar, cafe and restaurant that plans to expand its support for local talent by installing a new speaker system, allowing local singers and spoken word artists to perform onsite
  • May Foods – Afro-Caribbean restaurant that sponsors various local support programs, with plans to renovate its storefront and revitalize staff training, among other improvements
  • Papa’s Cafe – A community cafe serving in a park and playground in Brixton, which plans to buy tables and chairs to improve its dining room, allowing them to organize more events for local children
  • Share a slice – Pop-up pizzeria and social enterprise with plans to restart its pandemic-tested “pizza to home” delivery kits, as well as the introduction of a part-time community manager to support outreach work in the ‘arrondissement.

*Study conducted by Opinium with 2,000 respondents in January 2022.


mike berry
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HOPE & GLORY PR (on behalf of American Express)
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Jessica Dyer
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Allison Shashock
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The IDA Foundation is the nonprofit arm of the International Downtown Association, a Washington, D.C.-based organization that empowers place managers with the knowledge, research, and public policy to create thriving downtowns, commercial districts and livable urban places for all.


Brixton BID is a not-for-profit organization established in January 2014 by local businesses. The BID is overseen by a Board of Directors made up of local business leaders (volunteers) and a small management team that develops the business plan for the BID.


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