Coronavirus buzz

2 Austin restaurants nab sweet grants to take sting out of COVID-19

2 Austin restaurants nab sweet grants to take sting out of COVID-19

Bouldin Creek Cafe
Bouldin Creek Cafe is one of the inaugural recipients. Bouldin Creek Cafe/Facebook

Two local restaurants are getting a financial lifeline from Austin-based social network Bumble. Bouldin Creek Cafe and Counter Culture are among the 10 inaugural recipients of Bumble grants aimed at propping up small businesses during the coronavirus pandemic.

Overall, Bumble — which bills itself as a women-first app — is committing more than $785,000 to small businesses hurt by the pandemic. The 10 initial recipients are food-oriented businesses in Texas, Colorado, Idaho, Louisiana, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C.

Bouldin Creek Cafe, at 1900 S. First St., and Counter Culture, at 2337 E. Cesar Chavez St., are closed temporarily due to the pandemic. For the time being, dine-in, takeout, and delivery service are not available at either restaurant.

Survey data published March 30 by the Texas Restaurant Association shows 2 percent of the state’s more than 50,000 restaurants already had closed permanently and 32 percent had shut down temporarily (including Bouldin Creek Cafe and Counter Culture) in response to the pandemic.

“The response to this program has been tremendous,” Cybil Zhang, Bumble’s manager of strategy and social impact, says in an April 13 release. “Within two weeks, we’ve received over 20,000 entries worldwide from small businesses who are in need of monetary support given the crisis of COVID-19.”

Bumble's other inaugural recipients include:

  • Dripkit Coffee (New York)
  • Finally Ours Diner (New York)
  • Fort Greene (Colorado)
  • Gabrielle Restaurant (Louisiana)
  • Good Dog Bar (Pennsylvania)
  • Hyde Perk Coffee House (Idaho)
  • Smales Pretzel Bakery (Ohio)
  • Thamee (Washington,  D.C.)

“It’s in our DNA to support the communities where we operate,” Zhang says. “We’ve long supported women in business, so we wanted to do what we can to support local businesses across the world during such a critical time.” 

Some Bumble employees donated their $500-per-person “work from home” stipend to the program. More than 180 businesses in 11 countries will eventually be picked to receive up to $5,000 each in monetary support from Bumble’s Community Grant Program.

Bumble started taking applications for the program on March 23. Bumble users could seek a grant for their own small business or nominate a business in their community. Eligible businesses are in the U.S., United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, India, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Germany, France, and Russia.

In addition to the community grants, Bumble has donated $100,000 to the WHO COVID-19 Solidarity Fund and $100,000 to the Austin-based National Domestic Violence Hotline.