The Texas Conference for Women and Texas Restaurant Association have launched a new initiative to award more than $150,000 in grants to women-owned restaurants across Texas. The Texas Conference for Women – part of the nation’s largest network of women’s conferences – will donate the grant funds to the Texas Restaurant Association’s Texas Restaurant Relief Fund, in an effort to assist women in an industry that has been devastated by COVID-19.
The program will provide $2,500 each to more than 60 women-owned restaurants across Texas, which will be selected via an application process through the Texas Restaurant Association. Restaurants can apply at http://txrestaurant.org/tcw. Grant recipients are scheduled to be announced in September.
The non-partisan, nonprofit Texas Conference for Women, the state’s largest women’s conference, has been committed to promoting gender equality and to amplifying the influence of women in the workplace and beyond for more than 20 years.
This year, women are shouldering a disproportionate portion of many impacts of COVID-19. Women accounted for 60 percent of job losses in March, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as job losses occurred in industries that employ more women than men. Women are more likely to be impacted by the increased caregiving obligations from shuttered schools and day care centers. And while all businesses have taken a deep hit, there has been an unprecedented drop in the number of women-owned businesses in the United States from February to April.
"While these systemic inequities need to be addressed, as a community of women, we are committed to supporting other women – and hope this will provide some relief," said Carla Piñeyro Sublett, Texas Conference for Women Board President.
Texas restaurants have lost more than 700,000 jobs due to the pandemic, and restaurants have been forced to lay off hundreds of thousands of employees.
“We are thrilled at the partnership between TRA and the Texas Conference for Women,” said Dr. Emily Williams Knight, President and CEO of TRA. “Working women in this industry need particular support right now. Our conversation on Sunday will focus on how companies can create inclusive environments where women can thrive.”
In addition to the grants, attendees at the all-virtual Texas Conference for Women on October 1st will receive $20 vouchers to use at the participating restaurants in an added effort aimed at helping to drive business to struggling eateries.
Thousands of attendees are expected to join the 21st Annual Texas Conference for Women, which will feature keynote speakers including global philanthropist Melinda Gates, actor and producer Issa Rae, and author and poet Elizabeth Acevedo. The interactive Conference also will give attendees opportunities to engage with speakers and each other, support women-owned businesses and women in business through an online marketplace, and participate in a career pavilion and job fair.