26 Chicago Restaurant Owners Selected to Participate in DoorDash Accelerator Program and Receive $20,000 Grant

26 Chicago Restaurant Owners Selected to Participate in DoorDash Accelerator Program and Receive $20,000 Grant

DoorDash, the nation’s leading last-mile logistics platform, revealed today the 100 restaurateurs,
including 26 owners and operators from Chicago, who were selected to be a part of its inaugural
Main Street Strong Accelerator program.
Announced in February, and created in partnership with Accion Opportunity Fund (AOF), the
nation’s leading nonprofit small business lender and support organization, the Accelerator is a
new initiative designed to provide financial support and specialized educational resources to
women-, immigrant- and people of color-owned restaurants, which have been disproportionately
impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. As cities continue to reopen and restaurants begin to
welcome guests back safely, selected entrepreneurs will receive a $20,000 grant and participate
in an 8-week restaurant operator course including hands-on mentorship and small business
Participants were selected because they have demonstrated an exceptional commitment to their
communities and shared a clear, actionable plan of how they’d use the resources from this
program. Chicago-based restaurants participating in the program’s inaugural year include:
● La Cocinita Restaurant
● Mae’s Que House
● Bombay Wraps
● Crazy Bird Chicken
● Evelyn’s Food Love
● Chocolat Uzma
● Badou Senegalese Cuisine
● Ms. B’s Kitchen & Catering
● Back of the Yards Coffeehouse
● Savory Crust
● Sugar Bliss
● Windy City Ribs & Whiskey
● Saigon Sisters
● Gayle V’s Best Ever Grilled Cheese
● Cleo’s Southern Cuisine
● Belli’s
● CheSa’s Gluten Free Gourmet
● Josephine’s Restaurant
● La Luna
● Red Pepper’s Lounge
● Split-Rail
● Russian Tea Time
● EggHolic
● J’s Breakfast Club● Dak
“I am truly excited to be a part of the DoorDash Accelerator program in the coming weeks.
There’s not a concrete playbook for running your own restaurant and I am confident that this
opportunity will provide additional education and resources to help set my restaurant up for
long-term success,” said Terri Evans, Owner of Windy City Ribs & Whiskey. “This investment of
time will allow me to make an immediate impact on my business, my employees, and the
community I serve.”
The selected Chicago participants feature various cuisines including Venezuelan, Vietnamese,
Chinese and Indian. Participants employ an average of 8 employees across their locations.
“To truly recover from this crisis as an industry, we need to ensure all restaurants receive
equitable access to capital and resources to survive and thrive in the future. This group of 26
entrepreneurs represents an extraordinary level of perseverance, dedication and commitment to
serving our community, and we couldn’t be prouder that they will be recognized as part of this
program,” said Sam Toia, President & CEO, Illinois Restaurant Association. “We thank DoorDash
for bringing this program to the Chicago area and look forward to cheering on this group of
Accion Opportunity Fund is lending its expertise helping to build and run the Main Street Strong
Accelerator Program to best meet the needs of restaurant owners most impacted by the
pandemic. Nearly 90% of the nonprofit’s small business clients are women, immigrants, and
people of color.
The Accelerator programming will kick off with virtual instruction and discussion courses on April
5. With help and input from the Main Street Strong Advisory Committee, the content has been
tailored and customized to focus on the most pertinent issues facing small business owners with
less than 3 locations. Topics include:
● Week 1: Finding Your Niche
● Week 2: Build a Financial Roadmap and Access Capital
● Week 3: Permits, Licensing, Regulations, and all Things Legal
● Week 4: Create the Right Menu
● Week 5: Get the Word Out: Marketing Like a Pro
● Week 6: Integrate Technology
● Week 7: Scale Your Business
● Week 8: Graduation: What’s Next for Your Business?
For more information on the Main Street Strong Accelerator please visit,
About DoorDash
DoorDash is a technology company that connects consumers with their favorite local and national
businesses in more than 4,000 cities and all 50 states across the United States, Canada, andAustralia. Founded in 2013, DoorDash enables local businesses to address consumers’
expectations of ease and immediacy and thrive in today’s convenience economy. By building the
last-mile logistics infrastructure for local commerce, DoorDash is bringing communities closer,
one doorstep at a time.
About Accion Opportunity Fund
Accion Opportunity Fund works to create an inclusive, healthy financial system that supports the
nation’s small business owners by connecting entrepreneurs to affordable capital, educational
resources, coaching, and networks. Through innovative partnerships and outreach strategies, we
reach entrepreneurs of color, low-income entrepreneurs, and women, who often lack access to
the financial services they need to build and grow their businesses. Opportunity Fund Community
Development is the lending arm of Accion Opportunity Fund, California Finance Lender license

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